Young inventor's 'Power Aid' wins regional engineering prize

AN INVENTIVE youngster’s idea for a memory assistance gizmo helped her beat 3,100 entries to scoop a regional engineering prize.

Elsa Marie Moorhouse’s Power Aid was praised by Primary Engineer Leaders Award judges for its ‘versatility and originality’.

The competition - hosted at the AMRC - tasked young people aged three to 19 to identify a problem in the world around them and design a creative solution.

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Wath Central Primary pupil Elsa’s hearing aid-style invention would play music or news to the user, remind them of their location and to-do list - and vibrate if someone was talking to them.

She said: “I was really excited when we got the email at school saying I had won an award and I couldn't wait to tell my mum.

“The idea for the power aid came from my mum as she can’t hear out of one of her ears and she forgets things sometimes, so I thought this was something I could do to not only help her, but to help other people too.

“I was really surprised to win the judges award as well because I didn’t expect it to be me. I never get awards like this and I feel proud and happy. It has now made me want to think of more inventions.”

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Elsa was presented with a trophy for being the overall winner across Yorkshire and Humber.

Dame Julie Kenny, Master Cutler for Hallamshire, presented the award to the Year 4 pupil and said: “The country has got such a lack of engineers and this is why we want to inspire young people and children to actually get involved and think creatively

“It’s events like this that absolutely gives them the initiative they want and to also gain an understanding of other people's ideas, enabling them to go ahead and become the engineers of the future.”

Cathie Barker, the AMRC’s co-ordinator for science, technology, engineering and maths, said: “For the AMRC and AMRC Training Centre, this competition gives us the opportunity to speak with such a wide variety of young people about apprenticeships and other opportunities in engineering and reach out to other under-represented groups, particularly females.

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“As someone whose role is to work with young people in promoting STEM and careers in engineering as a potential opportunity, this is a fantastic tool. It is completely inclusive and allows children to be creative and inspires their thinking.

“It also ignites their interest in the wonder of the world in which we live in and if they became an engineer, how they could change the world for the better.

Nathalie Cachet-Gaujard, regional head of partnerships for Primary Engineer, said: “As this year marks our tenth year, this awards presentation felt extremely special and it was great to see so many entries look at how the pupils will identify a problem very specific to them, someone very close and want to help.

“All the entries we have seen across this region really showcase a lot of creativity and ingenuity about the future.

“Ultimately, this generation will have to solve a lot of challenges, so it’s really nice to see that this is on the way.”

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