SCIENCE star Annie Macklin has impressed the judges at a top national competition.

The Thomas Hardye School pupil was Highly Commended in the final of the UK Young Scientist of the Year category in the National Science and Engineering Competition.

She was selected for the final for her project that saw her develop a test to assess the effect of an anti sea-lice chemical and a prospective sea lice treatment.

Year 13 student Annie’s project was showcased to over 75,000 visitors at the Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair at the NEC in Birmingham.

She was joined in the competition by fellow Thomas Hardye School pupil Akanksha Kiran and the pair had to make Dragon’s Den style pitches to a panel of top judges. Annie, who spent five weeks at CEFAS (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science) in Weymouth researching for her project, received a prize of £150 as well as a medal and a certificate.

She said: “I’ve always wanted to be a marine biologist and doing something to do with the sea was a dream of mine.

“It means so much to achieve Highly Commended.

“There are not a lot of female scientists so I really feel like I’m holding the flag for women in science.

“I’ve put a lot of work into the project and so it’s a great feeling to have it recognised.

“It’s been an amazing experience”.

Imran Khan, chief executive of the British Science Association which runs the National Science and Engineering Competition, praised Annabel’s work.

He said: “We’re thrilled that Annie has been awarded this prestigious honour at The Big Bang Fair this year.

“This project really caught our imagination and we hope that it inspires other young people to enter the competition.

“Now in its sixth year, our contest has become renowned for recognising, rewarding and inspiring thousands of talented youngsters in all areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“We need to nurture a new generation of bright sparks, and the competition offers a great incentive to get youngsters experimenting and having fun with science and engineering.”

For more information about getting involved in the National Science and Engineering Competition, which is open to pupils between 11 and 18, visit Entries are now open for next year’s competition.