BUDDING Albert Einsteins were visited by a television physicist who says a greater appreciation of science is vital because of the technological world we now live in.

Dr Melanie Windridge went in to see 54 pupils at Sir William Borlase's School who had come up with innovative projects as part of a Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths fair and judged their entries.

The physicist, whose special expertise is in fusion energy, has appeared on the BBC's popular Bang Goes the Theory show, among other programmes.

She said: "I think everyone should have an appreciation of science, we're using these things all the time. We've got more computing power in a mobile phone now than the rocket which went to the moon.

"We live in a technological age and if we want to keep developing new technologies then we need people who are innovative and inventing things but also people who understand them. We're going to need more people working in computers, engineering.

"You need to foster that appreciation of science from an early age.

"It gives you a really solid grounding of hoe the world works and I was trying to show them how physics at school relates to the real world."

She liked what she saw from Marlow pupils at the event on March 19.

Dr Windridge told the MFP: "I was impressed actually because they're still reasonably young they were very enthusiastic and they'd gone out on their own to research something that interested them."

The competition had joint winners.

Thomas Lewthwaite-Paige and Jana Baguely took the top prize with their individual projects on non-Newtonian body armour and bubbles respectively.

They were awarded the much sought prize of the popular technology gadget called Raspberry Pis.

Thomas was delighted when the RAF provided a piece of body armour to the school on loan for him to examine, following his experiments, which he had filmed. Dr Windridge wants more youngsters to engage in science like the Borlase's youngsters.

Erica Barclay, from the school, said the TV scientist had been inspirational and Dr Windridge would like other young women to follow her example and go into the sciences.

She said: "Hopefully young girls can identify with me, I come from the same place, living locally."

She was a Beaconsfield High School pupil and now lives in Amersham.

And her final message was that anyone - however academic or bright - can take part in science.

She said: "You don't have to be a genius, people can contribute on different levels."

Dr Windridge is currently involved in a You Tube channel called Head Squeeze, with Top Gear presenter James May.