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Posted on: 06/03/2018

BIG BANG

Parental pestering proved the mother of invention for three imaginative young inventors from Loreto Grammar School who have been shortlisted for the prestigious Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Competition.

The tech minded trio of thirteen-year-olds were all fed up of being constantly texted by worried parents when they were out with their friends, so they invented a GPS unit using beacon technology that can be hidden in their bags to allow worried mums and dads to keep track remotely.

Flora Beazley, 13, from Hale, said: “I have to say it's mainly my mum but dad can also be a bit irritating. I know they are concerned but it's no fun when you have to stop what you're doing and text home just to let them know you're still safe.”

Miriam Oronsaye, 13, from Wythenshawe, added: “It also means parents who cannot afford an android device or smart phone, or just don't think it's not safe their children should carry such an expensive item, can still track their children's whereabouts via their own phones.”

Katie Wilkinson, 13, from Didsbury added: “If anything dangerous should happen the child can press an emergency button to give an alert to their parents' phones.” She then added: “What is more we are looking to extend the scheme so that participating shops act as safe havens and in the event of any danger the child can go into the shop for safety.”

The girls explained the idea took a day of brain storming to formulate but they have been developing the concept every day in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) club for the last three months.

Proud parent and unrepentant former pesterer, James Beazley, who is a technology specialist, said: “It's a brilliant idea. The girls have taken existing technology and developed a commercial application. The big problem in this country is not innovation but taking innovation to reality and that's so intangible it's can be very difficult to teach, but the girls at Loreto have that rare knack of applying ideas to the market place.”

He added: “I suppose my wife and I can be a little over protective. We want to give our daughter the same freedoms we enjoyed but you are constantly hearing of children being taken from the streets and of teenage muggings, and this allows us to give her more freedom while retaining our peace of mind.”

Loreto Grammar School's multi-award winning STEM coordinator Elaine Manton who has seen the top Altrincham school gain TeenTech's Gold Level Centre of Innovation and Creativity designation and is a former national STEM teacher of the year, said: “The girls are passionate not only about innovation but about application of their STEM expertise. Some 50 11 to 18 year-olds come to our STEM club at lunchtimes over four days a week throughout the year and the demand is increasing all the time.”

Beth Elgood, Director of Communications, EngineeringUK said, “The team from Loreto Grammar School really impressed the judges with their project and we’re excited to see how they do at the finals at The Fair."

The students will be invited to attend the competition finals, which are taking place at The Big Bang Fair at Birmingham’s NEC in March 2018. Here, they will vie for top prizes including the coveted title of UK Young Engineer and GSK UK Young Scientist of the Year.

Pictured with once worried dad James Beazley in the background are from left to right Katie Wilkinson, Flora Beazley and Miriam Oronsaye with their bags that have been transformed into tracking devices.

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