Ella has designs on success

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Castle Douglas High School S1 pupil Ella Booth has won a major manufacturing schools competition.

Ella was recognised fror her success with a visit at the school from Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown, who was behind the initiative.

Ella has won a trip to London to attend a prizegiving ceremony in parliament, sponsored by manufacturing company Dupont Teijin Films, which as a site in Dumfries.

Ella fought off competition from across Dumfries and Galloway to design an idea for a new product to be manufactured. Ella’s idea for her design – an aid to help people open bottles – came from thinking of ways to help her grandmother, who suffers from arthritis.

Mr Brown said: “Ella’s design for a device to help elderly people was a great idea and showed a real spark for inventing. It came about because Ella saw a problem with her grandma opening bottles and so she put her thinking cap on and came up with a practical solution to help her. I was very impressed by the way Ella took an everyday issue and put real thought into how it could be tackled.

“I look forward to welcoming Ella to London for her prizegiving ceremony in the Houses of Parliament.

“I hope this competition will inspire local pupils to think about getting involved in manufacturing when they leave school. Our region, and the country as a whole, desperately needs more young people to aspire to high-level manufacturing jobs and gain a better understanding of how the industry and businesses involved in it actually works.”

Describing her winning design, Ella said: “The best inventions are when you see a problem and solve it. My grandma has terrible arthritis in her wrists and fingers and is always asking people to open bottles as it’s quite hard for her to open one for herself. So my invention is ‘Hydration Release’ (a water bottle opener).

“Hydration Release is a device that can be fixed onto the handle of a walking stick, or be screwed onto a wheelchair or shelf. It would help because instead of having to grip the small bottle top, you would push the bottle into the device to hold the lid and turn the bottle It is a cone-like shape that has soft rubber flaps on the inside to grip the bottle top. The rubber would be firm enough to hold its shape, but flexible enough for the thin flaps to mould to the lid.”