Science Museum: Young Inventor Winner Announced

8th October 2013

A design for a portable foot shower that washes sand off your feet on the beach has been unveiled as the winner of a summer invention competition for young visitors to the Science Museum.

Science Museum, London

The ‘Pediclean,’ designed by Sophia Laycock, aged 11, beat over 60 entries to win a MakerBot® Replicator® 2 Desktop 3D printer worth £2,000.

The winning entry consists of a plastic water bottle which attaches to a pipe and when squeezed, sprays seawater on the feet, removing sand. The product is designed to be light-weight and easy to transport while on holiday.

The product will be developed from concept to reality on a 3D printer by Mark Champkins, the Museum’s Inventor in Residence, before going on display in a new exhibition, 3D: printing the future, which opens at the Museum on 9 October.

Sophia said, “I’m really thrilled to win this competition. I’ve seen foot showers at beaches whilst on holiday, but never seen anything like that in Britain. The ‘Pediclean’ is just a simple way of cleaning sand off your feet so the sand stays at the beach and doesn’t come with you home!”

Sophia’s mother Marisa said, “Sophia has been coming up with invention ideas for years and records them all in her pocket design book. In fact, inventing seems to run in the family as her late grandfather invented a number of devices for the quarrying industry.”

Mark Champkins said, “This product is an ingenious solution to one of the most irritating problems experienced on a trip to the beach.” The ‘Pediclean’ is a smart and simple design that I can imagine in the shops.”

The competition challenged young people to come up with an idea for a product that could help overcome a common summer problem as part of the Museum’s 3D Summer Season.

Entries were judged by Mark alongside a panel of experts from the world of 3D printing. Each design was judged on criteria including creativity and showing clarity of purpose when solving a particular problem.

Phill Dickens, Professor of Manufacturing Technology at The University of Nottingham, Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing Research Group said, “This is a novel idea to solve a common problem. The design could exploit the capability of 3D printing in making complex shapes. I’m looking forward to seeing how the ‘Pediclean’ will look once it’s created!”

Atti Emecz, Director of Strategy and Business Relationships, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, said, “The quality of entries was very high and shows the amazing creativity of the next generation of would-be engineers and designers.”

Sophia will be presented with her fully created invention at the Science Museum during the October half term holiday.

The competition was part of the Science Museum’s 3D Summer season which included a talk from Sir David Attenborough on the making of a 3D film, 3D scanning and design workshops and a 3D trail around the museum.

To see the winning entry and details of the runners up, visit

3D: printing the future is a free exhibition that will run in the Antenna gallery at the Science Museum for 9 months from 9 October 2013.

The exhibition is supported by Principal Funder EADS, Major Funders Renishaw, the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPRSC) and the Additive Manufacturing & 3D Printing Research Group (3DPRG) based at The University of Nottingham.