23 August 2013
Fourteen-year-old Francesca Turnball has won the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)’s Product Innovation Challenge with her impressive design of a mobile phone application.
Francesca, from High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, entered the competition with her idea of a mobile phone app that educates parents about the need for the MMR vaccination and will also send reminder alerts when a child is due for their injection. Francesca felt her design would create a more informed society about vaccines and also take the pressure off medical staff to chase parents to have their children vaccinated.
Francesca said: “Parents are always being told and reminded about vaccines and this product will take advantage of current communications to let them know all there is to know about the MMR vaccine. In time, the application could expand to other important medical news and information.
“I really enjoyed taking part in the competition and it has definitely motivated me to pursue subjects like science, engineering and technology.”
The competition brief asked entrants to identify a problem or opportunity relating to communication, and then use their engineering skills to develop a solution.
Francesca has now earned the title of IET Student Innovator of the Year 2013 and has been awarded with her own iPad and £500 for her school to spend on Science, Engineering, Technology or Maths (STEM) activities.
Holly Margerison, IET Education Manager said: “We were really impressed with Francesca’s idea, especially the way she explained the application’s wider effect on society and medical staff. We had some great entries for this competition, and I hope those that entered have realised what great things can be done through science and engineering.”
The IET Product Innovation Challenge is just one of many educational initiatives run by the IET to encourage young people into careers in STEM.