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Schoolboy powers his way to St Andrews!

EMBARGO – 1300 HOURS – WEDNESDAY 9 MAY 2001

A 12 year old budding environmentalist powered his way to St Andrews today (Wednesday 9 May 2001) to pick up an award from the organisers of the prestigious St Andrews Prize.

Marcus Ker, a schoolboy from London, received a special commendation and cheque for £500 after impressing judges with his idea to create electricity by plugging the nation’s exercise bikes into the national grid. The cheque, made payable to his school, will fund the purchase of books or software related to the environment.

He made the special trip to St Andrews to collect his award and demonstrate his idea to St Andrews Prize organiser, Elaine McGonigle. Event officers decided to bring Marcus to St Andrews in the week that the winner of the $25,000 international prize is officially announced.

The prize panel, led by Sir Crispin Tickell, Convener of the British Government’s Panel on Sustainable Development, were delighted with the youngster’s submission and decided to reward his efforts accordingly. A spokesman for the Prize said: “We were so impressed with Marcus’ entry — it was new, it was refreshing, it was one of those ideas that make you think, ‘why didn’t I think of that!’

“Unfortunately it did not quite qualify for the main St Andrews Prize, which is for a practical and economically viable idea that has a good chance of being implemented. But given the general broad appeal of the idea and Marcus’ age we felt we should make a special award this year to recognise his contribution.

“We also want to recognise his school … that’s where the environmentalists of tomorrow are to be found and they deserve to be encouraged.”

The St Andrews Prize, an annual initiative, is aimed at finding new and inspiring ideas to help the environment. It is co- sponsored by the University and international energy company Conoco.

This year, the prize attracted almost 100 entrants from 25 countries. The three shortlisted finalists will gather for two days at St Andrews on Thursday 10 May 2001 to present their submissions to a distinguished panel of environmentalists, scientists and industrialists. Judges are looking for a new and inspiring idea to help the environment, which combines practicality, good science, economic reality and political acceptability. The winner of the $25,000 prize will be selected and announced on Friday 11 May 2001 at 11.30am.

ENDS

NOTE TO EDITORS

You are invited to send a reporter/photographer to the University of St Andrews Sports Centre, St Andrews at 1pm on Wednesday 9 May 2001 when Marcus will demonstrate his energy-creating idea to Prize Organiser Elaine McGonigle.

You are also invited to send a reporter/photographer to the announcement at Lecture Theatre 1, St Mary’s Quad, South Street, St Andrews at 11.30am on Friday 11 May 2001 when the winner/runners-up will be available for interview/photographs. Further details on the shortlisted entries are available from Gayle Cook – contact details below.

Issued by Beattie Media On behalf of the University of St Andrews Contact Gayle Cook on 01382 562881, mobile 07900 050103, or email gayle.cook@beattie- dundee.co.uk

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