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Introducing the Global Bike Lock: Physics students’ work with ARM celebrated at special event

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Physics A level students at Long Road take part in the Engineering Education Scheme (EES) each year, and have worked in the past with global IT company ARM on projects ranging from lost-pet-locating drones, smart fridges and mobile air pollution monitors.

This year it was a project close to the heart of many Cambridge residents: bicycles.

Every Thursday since November (plus two one-day workshops at the Department of Engineering, Cambridge University) our students have been mentored by staff from ARM to help them devise the best-possible bike lock. The design used Perspex pieces and an ARM chip with a vibration sensor which sets off an alarm when someone tampers with the lock. Even better – the lock sends a message to the bike owner’s smartphone along with a GPS so the owner knows where the lock is.

The culmination of the project was a celebration at the University of Hertfordshire. Our students had to give a presentation to engineers from EES and were grilled about their research and development. Our students had written a detailed report on their project, which was also assessed, as was the display of their work.

The event wasn’t competitive but our students were praised for the high standard of their work and received a certificate to add to their personal dossiers: excellent evidence for university or apprenticeship applications.

There was also a fascinating talk by the former chief engineer of Ford, who worked on the development of the Ford Focus and Ford Transit Vans.

David Jones, Head of Science at Long Road, says: “This was yet another excellent opportunity for our students to broaden their knowledge of the applications of Physics. As ever, the ARM mentors have provided excellent support and inspiration to our students, and I am very grateful to the EES and the University of Hertfordshire for making this possible.”

Main photo: Team Long Road in their best suits next to their display: Daniel U, Alex Long, Nathan Cowling, Seb Kitcat, Branden Hedley and Emily Clements