Belfast Telegraph

Teenager takes scientist honour

The UK Young Scientist of the Year award has been won by a young woman for the first time.

Hannah Eastwood, 18, from Loreto College in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, explored how chromium could be removed from drinking water. This allows tap water to be purified and reclaimed for the steel industry.

Professor Brian Cox, one of the judges for the National Science and Engineering Competition, said: "It's wonderful to witness such enthusiasm and dedication for science. It's left me hugely excited about the future of science in the UK, with passionate young scientists such as Hannah at the helm."

Hannah said: "I'm still in shock but so thrilled. This is an unbelievable opportunity to be an ambassador for science and to inspire young people."

The UK Young Engineer of the Year award was won by Andrew Cowan, 18, from Sutton Grammar School for Boys.

His low cost search and rescue robot includes a camera and fire extinguisher.

Space scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock said: "The judges were truly overwhelmed by his project and it's wonderful to witness such enthusiasm and dedication for engineering and technology."

Andrew said: "The news is still sinking in but I'm extremely honoured and proud to be awarded such a prestigious title. The standard of entries was so high which made the finals incredibly tense at times.

"I'm now really looking forward to representing engineering for young people and I hope my project inspires lots of other people to do the same and pursue a career in engineering."

The competition was open to 11 to 18-year-olds from across the UK. Finalists showed off their projects at the Big Bang Fair at the ExCeL centre in London.

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