A PUPIL from Boston is top of the class after winning a place in the finals of the 2013 National Science and Engineering Competition.
Harriet Housam, who goes to Boston High School, impressed the judges of the competition with her investigation to discover the factors affecting food choice in the red-footed tortoise.
She will now go head to head with students from across the country in an attempt to claim one of the UK's most prestigious science and engineering honours for young people.
Harriet's shortlisted entry will be presented to more than 60,000 people at The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair, the country's single biggest celebration of science and engineering for young people, held at ExCeL London from March 14 to 17.
The world-class judging panel includes TV science star Professor Brian Cox, celebrated space scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Nobel Prize-winning biochemist Sir Tim Hunt, and mathematician and Countdown co-host Rachel Riley, among others.
Harriet said: "I'm thrilled my project has made it into the finals of this year's National Science + Engineering Competition and I can't wait to get to The Big Bang Fair in London this March! I have thoroughly enjoyed discovering new objects in our galaxy and hope my research will inspire younger aspiring scientists at the fair."
Sir Roland Jackson, Chief Executive of the British Science Association which runs the National Science and Engineering Competition, commented: "The Competition aims to recognise and celebrate the most creative flair of our young scientists and engineers, and to inspire others to follow related study and careers. Harriet's entry illustrates the talent our young people possess.
"We're delighted to see Harriet get through to the national finals and wish her the best of luck when the judging panel make their decision at The Big Bang Fair in London. Her project has captured our imagination and we hope it spurs others on to enter next year's competition."
Schools and families across Leicester can now register for free tickets to The Big Bang Fair, where they can take part in a show-stopping line-up of activities and live performances and see Harriet's project in action.
To find out more about the National Science and Engineering Competition and to book your place at The Big Bang Fair, visit www.thebigbangfair.co.uk