Teenager is reaching for the stars with top honour

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Talented teenager Joshua Harvey has been recognised by a national trust for his love and work with physics.

The 17-year-old from East Boldon has been honoured by The Ogden Trust for his work in designing and building a clockwork model of the solar system, known as an orrery, which shows the speed in which the planets rotate around each other.

Joshua was able to use his school’s computer science equipment to help design the model and he is now working with the engineering department at Discovery School, in Newcastle, to bring his design to life.

His physics teacher, Tom McNaught-Roberts, was so impressed by Joshua’s astrophysics project he nominated him for an award from the charitable trust, which promotes the teaching and learning of physics.

The award means he is now an alumni of the trust, which enables him to apply for means-tested funding to support his physics studies in the future.

Tom said: “The Ogden Trust rewards excellence in physics, so there was no doubt in my mind that Joshua deserved to be recognised.

“He is an exceptional student and is showing a great talent for astrophysics. He puts the hours in outside of school and works incredibly hard, so we are very proud of him. He is hoping to study at Durham University and I think he has every chance of being accepted. He is a real talent.”

Joshua was presented with a certificate from Professor Carlos Frenk, Ogden Professor of Fundamental Physics, at a special awards evening at Durham University.

The student, who is studying A-level physics, chemistry and maths, and hopes to study astrophysics at Durham University, said: “Being recognised by The Ogden Trust was a lovely surprise because I started to build the orrery as part of a project at school and had no idea my teacher had nominated me for an award. It’s a special award and is great that I have the opportunity to gain additional support for my future studies.

“I have used Discovery School’s great computer design equipment to help me with the initial work, and will then work in the engineering workshops to actually bring it all together. I don’t think I could have done it at another school.”