Coder for Tim Peake gains 10 A*s and 2 9s at GCSE | Portsmouth High School

Coder for Tim Peake gains 10 A*s and 2 9s at GCSE

Lowena Hull, 16, from Portsmouth High School GDST, is celebrating today with a tremendous set of GCSE results.  Lowena received 10 A*s and 2 9s and is one of ten trailblazing girls with a passion for technology as announced by InspiringJuniors UK last month and published in the London Evening Standard.  InspiringJuniors is a project which uncovered the need for more female role models as crucial, as well as the need to provide girls with the opportunity to express their creativity through hands-on experiences.

Lowena, one of the ten inaugural winners of the nationwide competition, said:

‘I am really pleased and excited to get these results.  I’m back up to London now as have been on a four week course with, amongst others, GCHQ at Imperial College, London.  I’ve been learning about encryption and cyber safety; basically, ‘ethical hacking’.

Lowena, who is interested in all things Tech and STEM understands that a recent government report found that only 1 in 10 STEM apprentices are female and a key barrier for girls is the lack of role models.  At 13 she entered and won a national Astro Pi competition, where her code was used to run a modified Raspberry Pi computer as an MP3 player on the International Space Station. The use of gyros to change tracks was successfully tested in zero gravity by Major Tim Peake, who she later got to meet at the Principia Space Conference.

Lowena reached the final reporting stage in the European Astro Pi competition (2018) where her code instructed the Astro Pi to take photos of the Earth from the Space Station, to examine algal blooms. She attended the 2016 Summer Accelerator programme with Acorn Aspirations where she worked with a team developing an idea for an App to locate mobile phone charging points and has returned several times as both a hacker and a mentor to other Acorn events, including the UN Girls in ICT Day.

Lowena also has an interest in Cybersecurity issues, which led her to take part in the Cyber First Girls Competition and then to attend the Cyber First Defenders Course sponsored by the National Cyber Security Centre. This summer she won a scholarship to attend an Engineering and Robotics Summer School at Kings College, London and has been awarded an Arkwright Engineering Scholarship based on her work with the AstroPi. In her spare time, she learns Japanese, mentors with Raspberry Pi locally, writes a blog and is a volunteer for the Young Scientist Journal.

‘I am really excited about staying on at Portsmouth High School for A levels,’ continued Lowena.  I will be taking mathematics, further mathematics, physics and chemistry and really hope to go to university and then get a job in research and development in possibly cyber security.’

‘We are extremely proud of Lowena, and all the other girls receiving their results today,’ said Headmistress, Mrs Jane Prescott.  ‘Overall the girls gained grades which were 98% A*-C/9-5.

‘We credit our success to the hard work of our specialist teachers, disciplined classes and highly regarded, traditional courses, which give our girls a firm foundation for academic excellence.’