Big Bang Fair 2017

Last Friday, thirteen of our Year 9 students were given the opportunity to showcase their computer programming skills at the Big Bang Fair – the UK’s largest celebration of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).

Held at the NEC in Birmingham, the annual fair offers a combination of interactive workshops, exhibits and careers information from STEM professionals aimed at young people with an interest in science and engineering.

Among the self-built projects the students demonstrated were a robot buggy, a Morse code device and a chasing light sequence. All projects were built using a ‘Crumble’, an easy-to-use programmable control device which has four IO (Input/Output) pads that allow connections to switches, light dependant resistors, LEDs and motors - creating plenty of scope for invention.

Back in January the students attended a masterclass in Crumble programming where they were given the
opportunity to get hands-on with the device to discover its capabilities.

They learnt the basics of programming via dedicated
computer software which delivers instant commands to the device, allowing for rapid progress and experimentation.

The video shows students in action during the masterclass, using software to program the device in order to operate a sequence of lights.

The user-friendly software allows commands to be
displayed in clear blocks, offering a simple and effective way of issuing instant commands.

Please note, this video has no audio.

 


At the fair, the Crumble projects were displayed on the ‘Control Freak’ stand where they were demonstrated by our students to those from other schools around the UK. Visitors to the stand were given various challenges involving the four projects, an example of which was the requirement of the user to program the device to guide the robot buggy project around a mapped route.  

In between demonstrating their designs, the students were allowed time to wander around the other 500 exhibition stands at the event where they experienced virtual reality devices, learnt about solar powered vehicles and even had chance to help build a JCB.

Matthew Elvidge, Subject Leader for ICT, commented: ‘As always, the students were a credit to themselves and the school. Events such as the Big Bang Fair are critical in opening students’ eyes to the world of STEM and the potential careers and opportunities that are available to them.’


 
ABOVE: The Withernsea team at the Big Bang Fair, Friday 17th March 2017.