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Hartlepool schoolgirl Grace engineers herself a top prize

Grace Kennedy at the Discovery Museum.
Grace Kennedy at the Discovery Museum.

A Hartlepool youngster has engineered herself a prize with her winning design.

Grace Kennedy scooped first place for her age group in the North East section of a national award.

We are really proud of her. She put so much thought into her idea

Vicky Snelson

The nine-year-old’s idea of creating a liquid detection device to attach to cups for blind people wowed the judges of the Primary Engineer Leaders Award.

The Barnard Grove Primary School pupil was invited to the Discovery Museum in Newcastle to be awarded the Year 4 top prize.

Grace’s idea was aimed at a piece of equipment which, using a sensor, would make a noise to alert a blind or partially sighted person when their cup was overflowing or if the liquid was too hot.

Vicky Snelson, science lead at the Hartlepool primary school, went with Grace and her mum to Newcastle for the award ceremony.

She said: “We are really proud of her. She had put so much thought into her idea, it was really good.”

Grace was one of almost 3,500 schoolchildren who entered their engineering ideas into the competition and was thrilled to be one of the winners.

Ms Snelson said they decided to encourage the children to take part in the competition as part of Science Week.

She said: “Engineering is the theme in the school this year.

“After we decided to take part in the competition, we invited an engineer into school to talk to the children about their work.

“The children then went away to think about what they would like to create.”

In the end the school entered 240 ideas into the competition and eight of them were among those shortlisted before Grace scooped a top slot.

As well as being presented with a framed certificate, Grace was also given a trophy to mark her achievement.