A 16-year-old schoolgirl from Swanbourne has won £5,000 in a competition run by the UK Space Agency to come up with innovative ideas on how to use satellite data to improve life on earth.
Cottesloe student Isla Richards looked at using the data to help people before they have a cardiac arrest. She said: “I’m really excited about winning. Science is my main subject, I’m doing triple science at GCSE and I’m thinking of doing all three at A Level. This competition was a great opportunity for young people to get ourselves known if we want to go on to a career in science.
“I’m going to save £4,000 for university and the rest I will spend – I need a new laptop!”
The SatelLife Challenge was a competition looking for inspirational ideas, from those aged 11 to 22, linking satellite and space data and its application to everyday life.
UK Space Agency spokeswoman Emily Gravestock said: “The judges thought Isla’s idea was great as it takes existing technology and uses it in another domain.
“They liked the focus on ‘now’ and the opportunity to save lives. We think she has real potential as a space entrepreneur of the future.”
Isla’s idea focussed on using the heart monitors and activity trackers people wear to detect someone who is in ‘peri-arrest’ (the stage before a cardiac arrest) and get them help by utilising the GPS tracker in their devices.
Winners from each category will be able to pitch their idea to a panel of industry experts. The best entries will also be invited to present their proposals at the influential UK Space Conference, held in Manchester from 30 May to 1 June, 2017.