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Wick pupils' Light Bike catches the eye at Big Bang Fair

By Staff Reporter- NOSN

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The Wick High School Light Bike was a popular attraction at the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham.
The Wick High School Light Bike was a popular attraction at the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham.

A GROUP of Wick High School pupils lit up a major science and engineering event in Birmingham with their innovative approach to cycle safety.

The Light Bike team were taking part in the Big Bang Fair, bringing together the best young talent in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) from across the UK to compete for a series of prizes.

Some 40,000 visitors attended the fair at the NEC over the course of two days.

The bike – covered in LED lights – was designed to improve safety on the North Coast 500. It could indicate and turn red when braking, and also had a working speedometer that changed the colour of the bike depending on the rider’s speed.

More than 1500 people took the opportunity to ride the bike, which had been designed and built by six pupils. Will Bullen was the programmer; Russell Mackenzie, Lewis Buchan and Nicholas Mann did the wiring; Steven Gunn was videographer; and Caleb James was manager.

The boys have been working on the Light Bike concept for a year and the one created for Big Bang was the third iteration. Being controlled by a Raspberry Pi (a small, credit-card-sized computer) meant they had plenty of processing power to calculate speed quickly. The bike was powered by high-capacity USB power banks that are strapped to it.

The team pitched to judges as well as exploring some of the other exhibitors’ displays.

Wick High computing science teacher Chris Aitken hopes the team can now build on the success of the Light Bike with the creation of an Inventors’ Club. The purpose will be to help young inventors to develop their own ideas using support from industry.

“Attending the Big Bang Fair was such an exciting opportunity for the team and due reward for all their successes – and many failures! – over the past year,” Mr Aiken said. “We were absolutely delighted to see so many young people queuing up to have a go on our bike and hope that it inspired others to try inventing their own products.”

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