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A sixth-former's view by Annabelle (2013)

Annabelle's project: Fully automated incubator with a torching section

Annabelle Richmond, winner of the Year 12-13 Systems and Control category, gives her thoughts on the 2013 CSES Schools' Competition.

I didn't know about the competition or the CSES until a few weeks prior to the event. One of the teachers at my school asked me if I'd like to take my project to the competition for the day with a few friends who were entering, and who also won prizes!

The idea for my product came from a brainstorm about inputs and outputs I had never used in a project before. One idea I had was to use heat as an output. This linked into an area that I had experience with, which is incubating eggs to hatch chicks. My favourite part of the project was planning the circuit and using breadboarding as a prototyping method to try out different microcontrollers and different components. This was a long process and quite difficult at times where I was unfamiliar with programming certain types of microcontrollers.

The day at Anglia Ruskin University was thoroughly enjoyable. Having the opportunity to talk to other students and teachers who were genuinely interested in my product was a great experience, as well as finding out about the other products that were there. It was also interesting to see other categories, such as the product design projects and particularly software design as I have no knowledge or experience in either.

As well as an enjoyable day and prizes won, I feel encouraged in pursuing a career in engineering and I am very proud of achieving winner in my category. Thank you to the CSES and Anglia Ruskin University for the opportunity; I will be keeping up with events to come!

We'd like to say thank you and congratulations to Annabelle for her winning contribution to the Schools' Competition 2013 article writing competition: she receives a Firebox Gift Voucher in return.

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