STEM success for Maidens schoolgirl

Sophie Shearlaw with her award.
Sophie Shearlaw with her award.

A MAIDENS pupil may be aiming for the stars with a future STEM career as she wins a national competition.

Sophie Shearlaw was named one of three South Ayrshire primary school children to triumph in the Scottish Engineering leadership awards, for her interpretation of a challenge: “If I could be an engineer in Scotland – what would I do?”

Sophie’s selfless design was for a machine, similar to airport security devices, to detect cancer, and was intended as part of her mission to develop a cure.

The competition winners were announced when Ayrshire headteachers met with Prince Charles and representatives from the science, technology, engineering and mathematics industries at Dumfries House to discuss the STEM opportunities and the promotion of STEM subjects in schools.

Sophie’s was one of just 10 winning entries from the whole of Scotland, of which there were more than 1500 in total.

Her work had taken pride of place at the Barony Hall at the University of Strathclyde before her design was selected as a winner by Education Secretary Mike Russell and presented to him, framed, by Sophie herself.

Sophie also received a lego set, a framed certificate from STEM and the University of Strathclyde, and a glass ornament with her name on it.

Mum Pauline Shearlaw – who was present at the Glasgow ceremony with Sophie, Dad, Tom, and brother, Sam – said she was delighted by Sophie’s win. “She likes school, is a real hard-worker, and scientifically-minded, so it was nice to see and a surprise!” she said.

Councillor Margaret Toner, said she was proud of the examples recognised.