Congratulations to Saheefa Ishaq!
Not every teenager gets presented with a national science award by royalty, but that’s exactly what has happened to one youngster from Hinckley.
Saheefa Ishaq, 13, who attends Redmoor Academy in the town, clinched the girl’s category of the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) award at the Science Museum in London for her food hygiene project.
Saheefa has been looking at the efficiency of household cleaning products by testing sprays and wipes to see how much bacteria is left after their use.
This is such a fantastic award to receive. I want to develop my interest in working on the links between poor food hygiene and disease so that I can help people in a real and practical way. It was amazing to meet Princess Anne, a patron of the WISE awards. I felt very honoured and it’s given me even more drive to carry on my studies and hopefully make a difference in the world through science.
The teenager’s project stood out to the judges for showing outstanding potential in science at an early age, but it isn’t the first time Saheefa has stood out from the crowd.
She has already achieved international recognition for the same project, travelling to Arizona to represent the UK at an international science and engineering fair after she was nominated by her science teacher, Jo Cox.
A keen member of Redmoor’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths club (STEM) she said she had been inspired to research the project to prevent disease. “Exploring the prevention, symptoms, transmission and treatment of diseases means that I can get a good understanding of the consequences of a lack of hygiene in the kitchen,” Saheefa said.
As it’s a growing problem, I’m currently looking into ways to really spread this message and look more into the science behind it. I feel that my experiences have made my interests stronger and I definitely feel that this is the beginning of my journey towards a career in STEM.
We’re incredibly proud of Saheefa. She loves science and that shines through. Thursday’s awards were like the Oscars of the science world, so it was a fantastic evening. – Mrs Cox
The desire to make a difference shines out from all the winners. These women and girls bring vision, creativity, commitment and, above all, a passion for what they do which is truly inspiring. Britain needs more like them to bring their talents into UK industry. Then we will get the re-balancing of the economy which the country needs. – Trudy Norris-Grey, chair of WISE
By Fiona Dryden