Emma makes a big bang

Student Emma Sharman has been shortlisted as a finalist in the National Finals of the 'Big Bang Science Fair' Picture by Tom Collins.
Student Emma Sharman has been shortlisted as a finalist in the National Finals of the 'Big Bang Science Fair' Picture by Tom Collins.

BUDDING scientist Emma Sharman is making a big bang after being shortlisted for a national competition.

The 17-year-old has made it through to the national finals of the prestigious Bing Bang Fair, set to be held in London later this month.

Student Emma Sharman

Student Emma Sharman

Emma, a student at English Martyrs Sixth Form College, in Hartlepool’s Catcote Road, dreams of becoming a pharmacist and impressed judges with her project on insulin and a new treatment for diabetics which scientists are currently working on.

Called ‘Pin Cushion No Longer’, Emma’s project focuses on using a chitosan-based hydrogel injection to deliver insulin to diabetic patients once a week rather than every day.

Her work will be on display at the Big Bang Fair which sees the country’s brightest hopes in the fields of natural science and engineering come together to showcase their work to more than 60,000 visitors and top scientists, including television star Brian Cox.

Emma, who is hoping to go to either Nottingham or Durham University next year, is competing for the title of UK Young Scientist of the Year and is up against competition from 250 other youngsters.

Emma said “I am proud and excited to have been shortlisted and I am really looking forward to the event itself.

“I am going to make the most of the opportunity and see what happens.

“My project focuses on insulin and a new treatment for diabetics.

“It was really fun and very hands on working with the different chemicals to see how they interacted.”

Emma, who is currently studying maths, chemistry and biology at the college, produced the project at The University of Sunderland over six weeks last summer after securing a bursary and was helped by Hamde Nazar, a senior lecturer in pharmacy at the university.

The former Shotton Hall pupil lives on the Oakerside estate, in Peterlee, with mum Jackie, dad Darren and younger brother Ben, 14, who attends The Academy at Shotton Hall.

Emma is heading to the capital with her mum on March 13 for the exhibition at the ExCeL London centre with finalists competing for more than 30 prizes and ‘international experiences’ worth more than £50,000.

David Riddle, Emma’s head of year at English Martyrs, said: “We are all very proud of Emma for reaching the national finals and staff at English Martyrs are always very keen to encourage students to go as far as they can in the field of science.”

All finalists who attend the Bing Bang Fair receive a personalised certificate and a goody bag in recognition of their achievements.