Portsmouth pupil, 17, pitches satellite ideas to space industry experts after £7,500 cash win

A PUPIL from Portsmouth High School who won a competition for ideas on how satellites can improve life on Earth has pitched her plan to space industry experts in a bid to turn it into reality.

Wednesday, 26th June 2019, 7:49 pm
Updated Friday, 28th June 2019, 11:24 am
Portsmouth High School pupil Lowena Hull pitches her idea to space industry experts at the Dragon's Den-style event. Picture: Robyn Haigh / UK Space Agency

Lowena Hull, from Rowlands Castle, attended the Dragons’ Den-style event, organised by the UK Space Agency, where she pitched her idea to track abandoned supermarket trolleys to six expert judges at the Satellite Applications Catapult in Harwell, Oxfordshire.  

Lowena, who won the UK Space Agency’s SatelLife Competition and has already received a cash prize of £7,500, was offered mentoring from staff at the Satellite Applications Catapult.

The 17-year-old said: ‘I found it really nerve-racking but it was a great experience.

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‘It was really good to hear what the dragons thought and see where I can improve. 

‘The offer of mentoring will be a great experience. The next thing for me is to develop a prototype and get my idea on track.

‘I’ve always had a passion for Stem subjects and I had a rough idea of jobs in the space sector but this has really made me consider all the potential jobs in the industry.’

Yesterday’s event saw Lowena and nine other winners pitch their ideas in front of an audience of 60 people.

Emily Gravestock, head of applications at the UK Space Agency, said: ‘The UK space sector is growing and we need more young people to join us in the years ahead, so it was fantastic to see so many innovative ideas and confident pitches at our Dragons’ Den event.

‘This is the third year of our SatelLife Competition and each year the standard of entries continues to amaze us.

‘It was great to see some of our young winners offered support to take their ideas forward.’

Lowena’s idea, Trolley Tracker, uses satellites to monitor the location of supermarket trolleys taken off site and allows them to be reclaimed.

In 2015, 1.5million trolleys were taken from supermarkets and abandoned – leading to a significant impact on the environment.