The doorbell rang at MoreFrom HQ the other day and a lecturer from the local Wisewood School & Community Sports College started to apologise. He apologised for dropping in un announced, but it turned out he had good reason. One of his students, 16 year old Connor Plant, was in the process of building two very unusual PCs in a bid to win a national competition.
Connor had entered his GCSE project for the regional heat of the Young Engineer for Britain Competition and won! He was therefore in the final due to be judged at the massive The Big Bang 2011 - UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair.
His lecturer explained that Connor was working on new designs for the final and that they were hoping MoreFrom could help out by providing some internal components. It sounded like a great achievement to have made it to the final and we were only to happy to help.
The new cases, one a in the style of a traditional piece of wooden furniture and the other, an ultra modern sculpture. Both designs take advantage of the Intel Mini-ITX motherboard at 17cm2, about the size of a Mac Mini, it's incredibly small and has CPU and graphics built-in.
We were also able to loan Connor some monitors and keyboards so he could demonstrate his new creations at The Big Bang fair. The Big Bang 2011 was held at ICC London ExCeL from 10 - 12 March, 25,000 people attended. The headline shows included Sky 1's Brainiac Live!, BBC's Bang Goes the Theory and BBC's Wallace & Gromit 'World of Invention' roadshow.
Connor didn't manage to add the overall title to his impressive list of awards, but he looks set to follow in the footsteps of previous winner Ruth Amos, also from Sheffield. Ruth won the 2006 competition and has since gone on to set up her own company StairSteady as a result of her success.
We wish Connor every success for his future and who knows one day he may be challenging the British designer Jonathan Ive for Apple's top job.