The Sony UK Technology Centre near Bridgend has acquired some help from some pretty knowledgeable and enthusiastic teens. A group of four from Cynffig Comprehensive School are working with the electronics manufacturer to develop a low cost ‘smart sensor’ to capture data from across the production line using Raspberry Pi – a tiny computer that you can use to learn to programme – as a platform. The idea caught the eye of judges for a national science and engineering competition, with the group announced as The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Competition senior finalists after entering their engineering project under the title: Harnessing the power of Big Data”.

The idea was inspired by one of the greatest challenges of the Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 is the fourth revolution in which computers and automation come together in an entirely new way. The challenges often faced are mainly being able to quantify the short- and long-term benefits; which in turn; makes it difficult to justify huge expenditure on new technologies. The team, Thomas Cullen, Alyx Forester, Kieran Jenkins and Katlyn Simons won at the regional heats at The Big Bang Fair South Wales and will now take their project forward to compete in the UK finals at The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair in March 2018.

Mr Morrish, the Head of DT at Cynffig Comprehensive School commented: “I’m extremely proud of my pupils’ achievements in getting to the final of such a prestigious event. The passion they have shown in developing their project has been so inspiring to watch and I know all four of them are destined for big things in the STEM world.”

Beth Elgood, Director of Communications, Engineering UK said, “The team at Cynffig Comprehensive School really impressed the judges with their Harnessing the power of Big Dataproject and we’re excited to see how they do at the finals at The Fair. Going into its tenth year in 2018, The Big Bang Fair continues to be a great source of STEM inspiration for young people, representing an amazing opportunity for young visitors, their teachers and parents to get hands-on with a wide range of activities, workshops, and shows, and engage in meaningful career conversations with professionals, all designed to bring classroom learning to life and inspire the next generation.”

The students will be invited to attend the competition finals, which are taking place at The Big Bang Fair at Birmingham’s NEC in March 2018. Here, they (along with a further six teams from the South Wales area) they will vie for top prizes including the coveted title of UK Young Engineer and GSK UK Young Scientist of the Year.