Astronaut Tim Peake has presented a Tyneside 10-year-old with a prototype of the schoolboy’s very own fire-fighting invention.
Harry Goodhead, from Newcastle, invented a ‘Multi-Function Drone’ which has been praised for it’s potential to ‘revolutionise disaster responses across the globe’.
It was created as part of the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) national ‘Super-Realoes’ competition, which challenged children to devise an invention to make a positive impact on the world or people around them.
And his invention wowed judges so much that it scooped him first prize in the competition – and he was awarded with a prototype of his invention presented by his hero Major Tim Peake.
Harry said: “I couldn’t believe it when I found out I’d won the competition, it made me so happy.
“It was super cool to meet Tim Peake and I was speechless when he said I was the winner.”
Harry’s innovative drone was designed with a water hose to put out flames and filter systems to clean polluted air and extract smoke from fire sites.
The ‘Multi-function Drone’, brings together modern technology and spectacular design to create an exciting addition to the world of firefighting and sustainability.
He now joins Tim and a team of STEM pioneers as the latest member of the STEM Squad in the IET’s ‘DM Universe’ comic strip – created last year in partnership with acclaimed Marvel artists Andy Lanning and Ant Williams to help get children excited about the world of STEM.
Harry added: “Being turned into a comic book hero as part of the STEM squad is unbelievable.
“The whole thing has made me feel more confident about becoming an astronaut or an engineer in the future!”
Children from across the country showcased their creative talents by submitting a whole host of inventions for the competition – from bio gloves that would control and grow plants, to an eco-gun that fired ‘algae bombs’ to tackle smog.
Some entries were also inspired by assistive technology including the ‘Holo Sign Watch’ that automatically converted speech into sign language using a solar powered hologram feature and earned 10-year-old Anna Morton the title of runner up in the competition.
Nicolas Pereira, aged nine, was also named as a runner up for his ‘Algae patriot X6VY’ superhero suit fitted with multiple gadgets to tackle environmental damage including a solar powered ‘smog sucker’.
Their designs also wowed the judging panel, which included former IET President Professor Danielle George MBE, double amputee and bionics expert James Young, mechatronics engineer Dr Matt Dickinson and the comic book artists Andy Lanning and Ant Williams.
Founding member of the STEM Squad and IET Honorary Fellow, Major Tim Peake, said: “I am a huge advocate of getting young people excited about STEM so I couldn’t have been more thrilled to be part of this brilliant campaign with the IET.
“Harry is such a well-deserved winner – I’m so impressed by the level of detail and innovation that went into his entry.
“He’ll be joining the STEM Squad comic strip but, with the aptitude he’s already shown, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him travelling into space at some point in the future!”
The IET’s competition was launched last year to help ignite children’s interest in the world of STEM.
It followed research conducted by market researcher 3Gem which revealed an alarming disconnect between children’s love for superheroes and their attitudes towards their engineering alter-egos.
It found that while over 90% of children think superheroes are “cool”, it was their costume and their ability to save the world they admired most as opposed to their intelligence or technical know-how.
This worrying finding and a lack of relatable STEM role models also formed the basis of the IET’s ‘Super Realoes’ report which explored why young people feel so differently about the fantasy of superheroes in comparison to the ground-breaking world of real-life STEM heroes.
Reflecting on the campaign, Professor George said: “The response from young people has been really inspiring.
“The levels of creativity and originality in their efforts to make a positive impact were so impressive – I’d like to thank all those who entered for making our decision very difficult!
“Most of all, I hope it’s encouraged them to see that not all superheroes wear capes, but we see real superheroes every day.
“‘Superhero’ technology modernising the world of STEM can lead to inventions that will make the world a better and healthier place in the future, and by encouraging passion in our young people for the subject it makes the future look that little bit brighter.”
To download the full ‘Super-Realoes’ report visit: www.engineer-a-better-world.org.