St Albans teenager in finals of National Science and Engineering Competition

A DEVICE which helps those with impaired hand movements use a car handbrake with ease has been invented by a St Albans teenager.

Nick Foster, 18 and a former pupil at St Albans School, designed the universal fitting after learning to drive in his grandparents’ car and seeing how his grandmother, who suffers from arthritis, struggled to take the brake off after he’d used the vehicle.

And now his simple but ingenious device has taken him to the finals of the 2012 National Science and Engineering Competition in March next year.

With a chance to win a share of the �50,000 prize pot and the opportunity to travel, Nick has everything to play for and nothing to lose as he originally embarked on the design as part of a school project.

He will present his project to over 30,000 people at The Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair at the NEC in Birmingham.

Speaking about his success, Nick said he was delighted to have been so successful.

He said: “I’m surprised but really happy to be through to the finals. Working on this project at school and with a very real purpose in my mind was very worthwhile.

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“The competition has encouraged me to think about science and engineering in a new light. It will be interesting to see the other interesting entries and I can’t wait to go to the Big Bang in Birmingham next year.”

This month sees Nick take on a completely new challenge however as he heads off to Nottingham University to begin the next stage of his career, where he will study geography.