Budding inventors win national competition with bar of soap

Four students from Merseyside have won a national competition with an invention that persuades children in developing countries to wash their hands.

The group of four 15- and 16-year-olds from Rainford High Technology College came up with the idea of a bar of soap with a game inside it, to help stop the spread of infectious diseases such as pneumonia and diarrhoea by getting children to wash their hands more frequently.

The team developed the invention for the national Youth Grand Challenges initiative, run by the British Science Association with the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which asked 11- to 19-year-olds in schools across the UK to invent innovative ways to mitigate infectious diseases.

There were a total of four national winners, who received a video message from Bill Gates at a ceremony in London, offering words of support to the budding inventors.

“It is so encouraging to see the innovative and thought-provoking solutions the young people involved with the competition have come up with – it fills me with optimism about the future,” said Katherine Mathieson, CEO of the British Science Association.