A school girl from Claygate impressed engineers with her invention to improve fresh water access at a national innovation competition last month.

The annual Primary Engineer competition is put on by the Primary Engineer Programmes non-profit, and supported by engineers at KU.

This year's theme — 'if you were an engineer, what would you do?' — saw more than 48,000 primary and secondary pupils submit designs for the national contest.

In total there were 17 winning entries for the London region, some of which were displayed at KU's Penrhyn Road campus alongside the shortlisted and highly commended designs.

Meanwhile, prototypes of winning entries from last year's competition were unveiled at the showcase event.

Maisie Crook, a year two pupil at Rowan Preparatory School in Claygate, was among those who won plaudits during the showcase after engineers from KU's Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing showed off their prototype of her winning 'Bicycle Sucker' invention from the 2018 competition.

"Maisie's design allows people living in countries that collect fresh water from rivers or wells to lower in the inbuilt hose and pump water into two collection tanks on the back of the bicycle by pedalling backwards before cycling home," a spokesperson for KU said, describing the device.

Introducing young children to the creative possibilities of engineering was key to helping bring through the next generation of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals, according to Dr Lucy Jones, Vice Dean of KU's Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing.

"The outstanding standard here from children as young as four and five has been fantastic to see and we're proud to be partners with Primary Engineer and part of the Leaders Awards competition," she said.

"The passion that has gone into their concepts is incredibly inspiring and we're delighted to have been able to bring some of them to life through the talent and hard work of our technicians and students," Dr Jones added.