Poole Grammar School, Gravel Hill, Poole, Dorset, BH17 9JU | Tel: 01202 692132 | Fax: 01202 606500 | Email: pgsoffice@poolegrammar.com

A partnership between leading technology company Flowbird Transport Intelligence (previously Parkeon Transportation) and Poole Grammar School is opening up new learning opportunities for aspiring electronics engineers.

Flowbird has sponsored the purchase of printed circuit board (PCB) components for the school’s Electronics Club, enabling students to build and test a number of interactive projects over the autumn term.

The Poole-based company’s Product Manager, Malcolm Edwards, designed a PCB for the school that could be used to build many different projects, and also provided worksheets and practical support for the students each week.

Malcolm said: “The students are really excited and are lucky to have excellent, enthusiastic teaching staff at the school. They are learning fast and doing far better than I could ever have imagined. Well done guys!”

The first few projects involved programming a microcontroller to provide a sound-driven light show and to play different musical notes according to the distance of a student’s hand to the board.

Numerous other projects will be built on the same board. The students will learn to add new interfaces and write software to take inputs from switches, sound, light levels, distance sensors and control servo motors, a loudspeaker and lights.

A number of students have already signed up for future iterations of the club, demonstrating their enthusiasm for electronics and their willingness to develop their practical and theoretical skills.

Paul March from Poole Grammar School, who is leading the club, said: “The students really appreciate the opportunity to take their electronics further and they get a lot out of it. They’re learning practical skills and theory outside of lesson time, which really expands their horizons and will trickle down to the whole class in lessons.” Paul reported that the students were so enthusiastic they started coming in at lunchtimes to continue their projects.

Malcolm Edwards, of Flowbird said: “Ultimately, engineering is all around us, and bringing industry knowledge into the classroom has not only helped students improve their science and mathematics, but also provided a way of thinking that will be beneficial in all aspects of their lives.”

Furthermore, with positive role models from Flowbird and Poole Grammar School, these talented young engineering students will be inspired to push the boundaries of their knowledge and explore electronics and programming still further.