Young female entrepreneurs top the TeenTech Awards 2017

A hand-held cancer detector, dissolvable chewing gum, and floating cities were among the ideas that wowed a series of celebrity judges

The future of female entrepreneurs in the UK looks to be in very safe hands, as the TeenTech Awards saw a host of young girls aged between 11 -18 recognised for their innovative and disruptive business ideas.

A hand-held cancer detector, dissolvable chewing gum, and floating cities were among the ideas that wowed a series of celebrity judges – which included BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC Click reporter Kate Russell and scientist and TV presenter Fran Scott.

Dragon’s Den host Evan Davis, Channel 4’s Dr Christian Jessen, Sky presenter Gemma Morris, and celebrity physicist Brian Cox were also present on the day – which saw schools from London, South Yorkshire, Leicestershire, Suffolk, Cheshire, Carmarthenshire and Inverclyde named among the finalists.

Leicestershire and London were the top regions with each area winning five categories a piece.

The Light Ray team from Alton Convent School were voted The TeenTech People’s Choice by attending finalists for their wearable that detects UV rays. While Karen Kelly of Notre Dame School in Inverclyde, Scotland was named Teacher of the Year after two of her school’s projects won categories at the awards.

Held annually, the TeenTech awards works with industry partners to help challenge youngsters develop solutions to some of the world’s biggest societal, health and environmental issues using the power of science, technology and engineering.

For a second year running, girls made up the majority of successful entries – with 60% of all winning teams being female.

In contrast, research from the WISE campaign suggests that 79% of science, engineering, technology and maths (STEM) jobs in the UK are currently held by men – with statistics from the Women’s Engineering Society showing that UK has the lowest percentage of female engineering professionals in Europe.

Maggie Philbin OBE, TeenTech co-founder and Tomorrow’s World presenter, said:

“We’re seeing again how with the right support and encouragement, young people are more than capable of shaping their own future. It’s also exciting to see the girls continuing to buck STEM traditions by leading the way.”

Interested in the future of UK business? Click here to read more about some inspiring UK young entrepreneurs.

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