Young scientist earns royal reward – Leicester Mercury

Congratulations to Saheefa Ishaq!

honour:   Saheefa Ishaq, 13, from Redmoor High School,  who has won a  national science prize

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

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