The Scheme, which is run by the Engineering Development Trust (EDT) links teams of 4-6 students, supported by their teachers, with local companies to work on real world scientific, engineering and technological problems. It is designed to offer year 12 students an in-depth experience in science, engineering and technology that will enable them to make an informed decision about their future studies and career.
This year’s project saw Abbey College Cambridge students team up once again with ARM, the world’s leading semiconductor intellectual property (IP) supplier. Working with their ARM mentors our students developed a web and GPS based system for tracking stolen cycles, based around the ARM Mbed development processor.
On the Celebration and Assessment Day the students had to create a stand, make a presentation to a panel of four judges, and conduct a question and answer session with one of the judges. The feedback they received was overwhelmingly positive. The judges noted that they were the only group to break away from the standard presentation format and introduced a little acting to demonstrate how the tracker could be used.
The judges concluded that the students clearly understood their project very well, commenting on how they felt as though they were at a marketing presentation, and on how well the students engaged with them.
During the question and answer sessions, the students were able to fully answer all of the questions posed to them, including on the advantages of their system compared to existing ones, providing an estimate of the manufacturing cost and retail price of the system, and on how, if it went into production, the product could be miniaturised through dedicated circuitry.
Mathematics teacher Graham Willis, who helps organise and support our participation, paid tribute to our student’s efforts, and to the support given by their ARM mentors, a company we have worked with on the scheme for a number of years;
‘Well done to this year’s students. Their excellent and novel presentation quickly captured the attention of the judges and helped them to stand out from other groups. Their ARM mentors also commented that they made the aim of the project very clear. Finally a big thank you to those mentors for their work with our students over the past 6 months and right up until just before their presentation.’