Princely advice for Sheffield innovators

Clara Payne
Clara Payne

Two teenage innovators from Sheffield High School for Girls talked through their ideas on solving global issues with HRH the Duke of York at Buckingham Palace.

Sheffield Girls’ students Clara Payne and Lucy Pirzada met Prince Andrew after winning categories in the finals of the TeenTech Awards at The Royal Society in London.

Lucy’s winning concept in the design and construction category was for a self-sufficient, sustainable, mobile floating city at sea. She came up with the idea after looking at the rising sea levels, increasing population and industrialisation, and wanted to find a solution to finding space for the growth of the human race away from using uninhabitable land.

Clara’s winning research project was an investigation to horse nutrition and diet and looked at the optimum preserved feed for horses for both weight gain and loss. Clara, who is looking to study veterinary science at degree level, thought her project would be useful to talk about in university interviews.

Lucy said: “This was a double honour for us. Not only to win our individual awards but be invited to Buckingham Palace for the day to meet the patron of TeenTech Prince Andrew.

Clara added: “Prince Andrew chatted at length to us after the awards ceremony, and told us that our ideas really stood out from the crowd. He gave us plenty of words of encouragement.”

Sheffield High School Assistant Head, Kathryn Boulton-Pratt, who won the WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) Advisor of the Year Award in 2015, joined the students on the London trip, and said she was incredibly proud of both girls.

The TeenTech Awards are an annual initiative run by TeenTech that challenges young people aged 11-18 to tackle key societal and environmental issues using the power of science, technology and engineering.

Each year, finalists present their ideas live to a panel of judges made up of celebrities, journalists and eminent academics.

For the first time in 2017, UK teams were joined in the competition by participants from Spain, Finland and Hungary. Award sponsors include Airbus, Atkins, Cranfield University, CILIP, AQA, FDM Group, JVCKenwood, Marks and Spencer, Symantec and London Livery company, ‘The Fuellers”. In addition, more than 35 Universities and 70 companies mentor students for the TeenTech Awards.