ABCAM plc STEM Innovation Award 2015/16 

THIS YEARS WINNERS ARE: 
 
‘Overclocking’ 
Penwortham Priory Academy, Preston 
Nominated by: Lisa Cowell / John Evans 
Presented by: Steve Jackson 
 
The winning team was able to use a groundbreaking technique in successfully ‘overclocking’ a computer – the computer is able to run faster without any negative side effects. 
 
What Inspired the Project? 
 
The school commented: “Two of our students attempted to overclock a high spec computer, to make it run faster than intended. The boys planned on being the youngest people to overclock a computer to a 
certain speed. It is an interest of theirs and they wanted to break the record!” 
 
What were the aims of the project? 
 
The school says that the experiment involved submersing a computer’s electrical components in a non-conductive cooling liquid. This allowed for the computer to process an increased number of commands without over-heating. The team ran hour long stress tests where the computer was pushed beyond its limit. The computer’s temperature was monitored throughout the stress tests. 
 
How Successful was the Project? 
 
When asked if the project was a success, the school commented: “The majority of the knowledge the boys used for building and overclocking the computer was completely self taught. The boys were invited to a meeting with a representative from 
F2 Chemicals (note: F2 Chemicals provided the ‘fluorocarbon’ cooling liquid). 
 
The Lancashire Evening Post were interested in the story so the two boys talked to a journalist who put together a story for the paper.” 
 
In terms of legacy, the faster running computer has found a new home in the school’s Technology department. Here, students and teachers often run complicated computer programs that cannot be run to their maximum potential on the school’s standard computers. 
 
Congratulations once again to Penwortham Priory Academy! 
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