World Wise Web

By BBC World Service

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Teenagers from around the world talk to technology pioneers who have shaped their lives.

Episode Date
Nasa’s Curiosity rover parachute
Aerospace engineer Dr Anita Sengupta led the team that developed the supersonic parachute which helped land Nasa’s Curiosity rover on Mars in 2012. It’s still on the Red Planet today, and its main goal is to assess whether there is, or ever was, life on Mars. She tells 17-year-old astrophysics enthusiast Avantika, from India, how her love of space began when she watched a science-fiction show on TV.
Mar 27, 2020
Eighteen year old Michael, from Dubai, who wants to become an engineer, talks to Keller Rinaudo, whose company Zipline has built what they say is the world’s fastest delivery drone. Travelling at more than 100 km per hour, these battery-powered aircraft look like small planes. Doctors in remote areas of Rwanda and Ghana send requests for medical supplies via text and Whatsapp, which the drone then delivers. We hear how they work and how the doctors first reacted to them.
Mar 20, 2020
Eighteen-old-entrepreneur Leander, from Greece, discovers how sci-fi became reality, through the work of leading orthopaedic surgeon Professor Munjed Al Muderis. He has developed a new generation of implants for amputees which replaces the traditional socket based technology with a robotic prosthetic limb. We also hear about Professor Al Muderis’s life, and the journey he made as a refugee from Iraq to Australia. Made by BBC World Service and BBC Rewind. Produced by Tamsin Barber.
Mar 13, 2020
Formula 1 simulator
In the late 1990s, engineer Dr Caroline Hargrove was working with the McLaren motor racing team when she developed the first Formula 1 simulator – a machine that helps racing teams design faster cars and improve performance. Sixteen-year-old motor racing fan, Marielle from Hong Kong, quizzes Caroline on her work in motor sport, how the simulator works and how drivers came to love it – eventually! Made by BBC World Service and BBC Rewind Produced by Tamsin Barber
Mar 06, 2020
The mobile phone
In 1973, Marty Cooper made the first public mobile phone call using his newly invented cell phone. Now, there are more mobile phones on the planet than people. Fourteen-year-old Becky, from Northern Ireland, asks Marty about that call and how his invention changed our lives. Producer: Tamsin Barber. World Wise Web is a co-production between BBC World Service and BBC Rewind. Music composed by Nick Thorburn
Feb 28, 2020
Internet networks
Computer programmer Radia Perlman is often called "the mother of the internet". In the late 1970s, she started working in network routing – the way data is moved from one network to another – and made a huge contribution to the internet as we know it today. Seventeen-year-old Audrey from the Philippines, who is a budding developer herself, asks Radia about what it has been like working in a male-dominated field, and what she makes of the way we use the internet today. Credit: Algoryhme by Radia Perlman
Feb 21, 2020
Computer animation
In 1995, Pixar Animation Studios created Toy Story, the first feature length computer animated film, and a blockbuster that changed cinema history. Here we bring together Danielle Feinberg, director of photography for lighting at Pixar, and 16-year-old Robin, an aspiring animator himself. Danielle has worked on many films including Monsters Inc, The Incredibles and Finding Nemo. Hear about what inspired her to work in animation, and how to realise your own dreams. Made by BBC World Service and BBC Rewind. Produced by Tamsin Barber.
Feb 14, 2020
Google Search
In 1998, a small company was launched offering a simple way to search the World Wide Web. That company was Google. Now every day billions of questions are put into the search engine. Ben Gomes, head of Google Search, talks about these early days - and what followed - to 17-year-old Osine from Nigeria.
Feb 07, 2020
The digital world only works if it is connected. In the early 1970s professor Bradford Parkinson was working with the United States Air Force as an engineer leading the team that developed GPS – the Global Positioning System, which uses satellites to pin point users wherever they are. Sixteen-year-old Malak from Israel finds out from professor Bradford Parkinson how it all came about, and why he still uses maps to sail by.
Jan 31, 2020
Lithium ion battery
Forty years ago, professor John Goodenough developed the lithium ion battery and kick-started the wireless revolution. From electric cars to mobile phones, the world now relies on rechargeable batteries. Now, 97, and just awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, Professor Goodenough still works at the University of Austin in Texas. Seventeen-year-old Adam from Poland asks him about lessons from life as well as lessons from science, and why he still works on developing the lithium ion battery even further.
Jan 24, 2020
Socially assistive robots
Assistive robots can act as companions and coaches to young and old alike, from autistic children to stroke survivors. Eighteen-year-old Saliha, from Bangladesh, talks to Professor Maja Mataric, from the University of Southern California, about why she is convinced technology can be a force for good. #WorldWiseWeb Producer: Tamsin Barber. World Wise Web is a co-production between BBC World Service and BBC Rewind. Music composed by Nick Thorburn Archive: Robot archive is from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.
Jan 17, 2020
The iPod
The breakthrough design of the iPod - a portable music player that made the CDs and cassette tapes that had gone before redundant - totally changed our listening habits. Tony Fadell is its inventor. Speaking to 17-year-old budding designer Anna Zanelli in London, he explains how his love of DJing inspired his iconic creation. And, he tells her, the design would go on to transform how we talk to each other, with the launch of the iPhone. #WorldWiseWeb Producer: Tamsin Barber World Wise Web is a co-production between BBC World Service and BBC Rewind. Music composed by Nick Thorburn
Jan 10, 2020
The preview
From GPS to Google search, meet the innovators and engineers who shape our digital world. Teenagers from around the globe talk to the tech pioneers who have changed our lives. Hosted by 17-year-old Anna Zanelli – herself a budding designer from London – we find out about the trials, errors, incredible hard work and sometimes just plain luck that made some of the most important digital inventions possible. And in the process of describing how they achieved their goals, we hear some words of wisdom for a new generation of innovators. Using the BBC and other archives we’ll also hear journalists, experts and the public talking at the time, giving their first reaction when the technology was launched. Episode one is available Friday 10 January 2020. #WorldWiseWeb
Dec 24, 2019