Derry student Becca Connolly wins top science award for innovative wound dressing that can detect infection

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A talented student of Derry’s St. Mary’s College has won a top science award for her innovative wound dressing that can detect an infection.

Year 12 student Becca Connolly was presented with the Big Bang Intermediate Science Award by conservationist and TV presenter Megan McCubbin at a ceremony in Birmingham.

The prestigious award is part of The Big Bang Competition, a nationwide competition for young engineers, scientists and technologists.

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Becca told how she came up with the idea for the innovative wound dressing.

Becca Connolly, a St Mary’s College Year 12 student, won the Big Bang Intermediate Science Award, which was presented to her by conservationist and TV presenter Megan McCubbin.Becca Connolly, a St Mary’s College Year 12 student, won the Big Bang Intermediate Science Award, which was presented to her by conservationist and TV presenter Megan McCubbin.
Becca Connolly, a St Mary’s College Year 12 student, won the Big Bang Intermediate Science Award, which was presented to her by conservationist and TV presenter Megan McCubbin.

She said: “I am interested in health and medicine and I was investigating the use of hydrogels as a drug delivery system and I wondered what else hydrogels could be used for and whether they could be loaded up with drugs?”

Becca had read an article about high tech smart wound dressings and wondered if there could be low-tech, cheaper and more sustainable alternative.

She explained the aim of this project was to investigate various indicators for use in wound dressings that would give an early warning of infection.

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Run by EngineeringUK, the winners of The Competition, which recognises and rewards talented young innovators, were announced at The Big Bang Fair, the UK’s largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) for young people held at Birmingham’s NEC over June 19 to June 21.

The Fair is supported by organisations across the education and STEM sector including Rolls-Royce, Jaguar Land Rover, and new supporters Accenture, Zoolab, JCB, Johnson & Johnson and easyJet.

Dr Hilary Leevers, EngineeringUK Chief Executive said: “Huge congratulations to Becca on this fantastic project. We need more young girls like Becca to be excited by STEM. Well done!”

To find out more and discover all the winners of The Big Bang Competition 2024 visit: www.thebigbang.org.uk/competition-winners

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