Award-winning project goes like clockwork for Perse pupil

Sourish Sharma (Year 11) had time on his side after earning a Gold CREST Award for his ingenious word clock project.

Run by the British Science Association, the CREST award scheme is aimed at inspiring young people to get involved in STEM research.

As a budding electronics engineer, Sourish decided to go for Gold level, which is primarily tackled by Sixth Form students, and successfully claimed the award after designing and building his innovative clock, which spells out the time through letters being lit up in a range of different colours.

He said: “My brother did a Silver CREST Award at around my age and I remember thinking it looked like a fun project where you could make something. I actually started it in Year 9, but because of Covid there were breaks in my work as there were many things I could only to do in school as it’s a physical project.”

Sourish began by researching how word clocks could be made before coming up with his own design, which he prototyped in cardboard, having also built all the electronic circuitry, before making the finished product in wood.

He estimated the project took around 100 hours of work, given the amount of development needed to reach the end result.

“I had to make several prototypes and keep making them better each time until I finally got something I was happy with,” said Sourish. “The hardest part was making sure the electronics were safe. I started from scratch and I didn’t want anything blowing up, and as the clock is made of wood, so it could catch fire.

“I was really happy to complete it. To see it work in the end made me very proud because it took such a long time.”

Sourish had to submit a huge report to the CREST panel outlining his project from start to finish and was elated to claim the Gold Award. He believes the process will stand him in good stead for his future career.

He said: “to have an experience like this of doing the research and actually building the product as well was really cool.”

I was really happy to complete it. To see it work in the end made me very proud because it took such a long time.

Sourish Sharma


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