A North East student has been awarded a special scholarship after shining at a unique festival.

Jess Scott has received a prestigious Arkwright Engineering Scholarship, sponsored by Northumbrian Water Group, having demonstrated outstanding potential at the company′s NWG Innovation Festival.


Arkwright Engineering Scholarships are aimed at the most talented STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) students in UK schools and help to ensure that high potential young people retain an interest in engineering careers.


Sixteen-year-old Jess, from Hexham, is now enjoying the two-year scholarship at Newcastle High School for Girls, where she is studying maths, further maths, physics and politics.
As part of the scholarship, Jess is also receiving mentoring from Northumbrian Water′s Programme Manager Carol Cairns.


She has also jointly won a competition, held at the Festival, which took place at Newcastle Racecourse in July, and is one of four young people to share a £1,000 prize fund. As well as the competition at the festival, a further contest took place online over the following months.


Jess teamed up with Hannah Nicholson, a student at Queen Elizabeth High School, in Hexham, to design the "Teenager′s Bedroom of the Future" following a series of workshops, led by Northumbrian Water′s partners +ADD Strategy and Reece Innovation, at the NWG Innovation Festival.


Teenagers worked with a range of STEM-related innovation experts during the Festival and set to designing the room they anticipate will cater for the future teenagers.


Jess and Hannah′s room included virtual reality gaming and saw hard copy books and even tablet readers with augmented reality technology. Whilst sparsely decorated, the room also featured an entertainment chair, complete with built-in speakers.


The pair share a £500 prize, donated by Reece Innovation.


Jess said: "So much has come out of attending the NWG Innovation Festival. Not only have I, with Hannah, designed the winning entry in the Teenager′s Bedroom of the Future competition, but I′ve also now received this fantastic scholarship that will really help me progress towards a career in engineering.


"It′s my plan to apply for engineering degrees and I am really interested in renewable technology, so the support of Northumbrian Water will be really good for me. I′m looking forward to learning a lot that I might not otherwise have been able to, had it not been for attending the NWG Innovation Festival."


In the online competition, winners Nora Stykket, from Norway, and Jonah Davies Jones, from Prudhoe High School, each won £250, again donated by Reece Innovation. They excelled in their entries′ creativity, effort, innovation and consideration of future real-world challenges.


Nigel Watson, Group Director of Information Services at Northumbrian Water, said: "It′s fantastic that something so positive has come out of the first NWG Innovation Festival. It was vital for us to include young people in the festival and to encourage STEM subjects and the careers they can lead to. The opportunity to support Jess with an Arkwright Engineering Scholarship is a brilliant way to continue that work and we look forward to seeing her develop as she continues her studies and hopefully moves into a promising career."


Paul Sutherland, Managing Director at +ADD Strategy, said: "The Teenager′s Bedroom of the Future competition was an exciting and insightful way to engage young people in STEM subjects. Some of the ideas were very radical and bold. It was thrilling to get this glimpse into the future and we wish Jess, Hannah Jonah and Nora all the best in their promising careers."


Chris Pywell, Director at Reece Innovation, said: "The NWG Innovation Festival was an excellent way for people to come together and look at new ways to make positive things happen in the world. What can be more positive than supporting young people in furthering their knowledge and skills and embarking on an exciting path towards a rewarding career?"