PUPILS from St Benedict’s Catholic High School have made it to the finals of a national competition aimed at budding inventors.

Alisha Seath, 13, and Isabelle Ritchie,14, gained their places in the final of the Amazon Longitude Explorer of the Year Prize for their design of the Ecoknow app.

The app would scan household rubbish and indicate where the nearest, suitable recycling point would be for any waste, as well as informing the user of the item's carbon footprint.

Judges commented that the girl’s entry was even more impressive since they came up with their invention whilst working remotely at the height of lockdown. The pair are one of 40 finalists in the running, after more than 150 people applied to the competition.

Industry experts will help the teams design a prototype of their product and assist them in a virtual Enterprise Academy business day to attempt to develop their idea into a real-world product.

Other finalists in the competition, which has been run by Nesta Challenges, included ideas such as a hand-sanitising phone case, an app to tackle period poverty and a sea cleaning robot.

Mr Etisoy, the girl’s teacher said: “This is an amazing achievement for two of our Year 9 computer science students, Alisha and Isabelle, to become a national finalist in such competition. Well done to both.”

The competition led by Amazon aims to encourage young people aged 11-16 to create tech solutions to the biggest challenges we face in modern day, such as climate change and healthy living, as well as encouraging more young people to get involved with STEM learning.

The winning team will be decided in July and receive a £20,000 cash prize for their school or youth group, with the two runners-up taking home £5,000.