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The World Wide Web was invented on this day in 1989...

British scientist Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web on 17 May, 1989 while working for CERN – the European Organisation for Nuclear Research.

The natural evolution of Wide Area Networking (WAN), it’s perhaps important to note that the World Wide Web is different to the Internet. It’s the billions of interlinked websites that are accessible via web browsers, while the Internet is the actual computers that are connected together. Berners-Lee launched the first website in 1989 and the first web browser, WorldWideWeb, followed in 1990 along with the first server.

The first public website was set live in 1991, and it contained a draft proposal explaining to the public what we could all expect from this fascinating new development. The World Wide Web was quickly placed into the public domain thanks to CERN’s Open for All policy.

Which other inventors could inspire your children to develop their STEM skills?

Steve Jobs

You can’t look at the tech developments of the 21st century without thinking of Steve Jobs. First the iPod changed the way we listen to music and then the iPhone how we communicate with each other. An engineer and tech enthusiast, Apple’s iconic design was shaped by Jobs and is something that your children may wish to emulate as they learn more about engineering.

Christina Koch

Christina Koch is set to be part of the Artemis II flight that will circle around the moon next year. An American engineer and NASA astronaut (who, along with colleague Jessica Meir, were the first to perform an all-female space walk from the International Space Station), Koch worked as an electrical engineer in NASA’s laboratory for High Energy Astrophysics and has contributed instruments to various NASA missions. Her love of science

Bill Gates

The co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates was always pushing the boundaries of software that would make electronics and computers more useful – especially once the Internet was more accessible to everyone. In more recent years, he’s taken an active role in his charity, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which focuses on funding global health projects. As children learn about coding through STEM, they’ll also be able to develop their own software solutions.

Dame Sarah Gilbert

The Professor of Vaccinology at the University of Oxford and co-founder of Vaccitech, Dame Sarah Gilbert specialises in the development of influence and viral pathogen vaccines – leading the development and testing of the universal flu vaccine and co-developing the Oxford Astra-Zeneca Covid vaccine. An interest in medicine, chemistry and biology – all covered in science lessons – could find your son or daughter following in her footsteps.

Mark Zuckerberg

Co-founder of Facebook and Meta, Mark Zuckerberg may be a controversial figure but his impact on the popularity of social media cannot be underestimated. How was he able to invent something that was so successful? Part of it was down to his programming expertise – a STEM concept your children can also learn.

Ann Tsukamato

Scientist Ann Tsukamoto developed a way to isolate stem cells in 1991 that has led to more understanding of the blood systems of cancer patients. This has, in turn, led to more effective treatments and could eventually lead to a cure for the disease. She’s still conducting research into stem cell growth to this day and is the co-patentee on over seven other inventions.

We hope your children are inspired by these figures as they forge their own successes in the world of STEM.

The Farr Foundation is a charity that supports organisations dedicated to inspiring school-aged children, raising their aspirations through STEM-related (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) activities. We do this through the provision of grant funding throughout the calendar year.

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