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Hannah Eastwood (centre) named UK Young Scientist of the Year at the Big Bang Science Fair in London - View Full Size Image
Hannah Eastwood (centre) named UK Young Scientist of the Year at the Big Bang Science Fair in London

A past pupil of Loreto College Coleraine, Specialist School, has been named Young Scientist of the Year 2011 at the Big Bang Science Fair, the UK’s National Science and Engineering Competition, in London.

Hannah Eastwood, who left Loreto College in June 2010 and is now studying Veterinary Medicine at the University of Bristol, presented a project which explored how chromium can be removed from drinking water in order to purify tap water and reclaim it for the steel industry where it is a valuable resource.  She had begun developing the project while still at Loreto College, under the instruction of the school’s Head of Technology, Mr Brian McKenna.

In her final year at Loreto, Hannah was named overall Runner-Up in the annual BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition in Dublin for her research into green rust.  An all-round talent, Hannah was also a member of Coleraine’s Eoghan Rua Camogie team, which lifted the All Ireland Intermediate Club title only a week ago.

Speaking after being named UK Young Scientist of the Year, Hannah commented,

“I’m still in shock but so thrilled. This is an unbelievable opportunity to be an ambassador for science and to inspire young people.  I’d encourage all young people to take part in next year’s National Science & Engineering Competition as it’s such a great opportunity.”

Mr Brian Lenehan, Principal of Loreto College, paid tribute to Hannah for adding yet another accolade to her wonderful record, commenting that Hannah’s achievements were testimony to her great talent and dedication, and stood as an inspiration to the students at all stages of their education at Loreto.

 Mr Lenehan also congratulated Mr Brian McKenna and the school’s Science department: “Mr McKenna’s record of presenting award-winning students at national and international science fairs is the stuff of legend,” commented Mr Lenehan: “in the course of his career he has helped Loreto College to build up a formidable reputation at Science Fairs throughout Ireland, the UK and even in America.”