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Student Ellie brings science to life at Paralympic opening ceremony

Ellie Cosgrave behind the scenes at the Paralympic opening ceremony

Ellie Cosgrave behind the scenes at the Paralympic opening ceremony

Ellie with her fellow performers

Ellie with her fellow performers

Press release issued: 30 August 2012

Engineering student Ellie Cosgrave starred in last night’s [Wednesday, 29 August] opening ceremony for the Paralympic Games, which took billions of viewers on a journey through the history of science.

The 25-year-old was a dancer in the final scene, recreating the particles in the Large Hadron Collider and showcasing the latest scientific developments.

She was one of 200 dancers who had the Declaration of Human Rights printed on their black and white costumes to represent unity and empowerment.

Also starring in the opening ceremony were disabled acrobats, injured soldiers and the voice of Professor Stephen Hawking as it celebrated achievement against all odds.

For Ellie, who is a postgraduate research engineer from the Industrial Doctorate Centre in Systems, it was an opportunity to bring science to life in a creative and innovative way for a mass audience. Her EngD looks at how sensor technology can be used to run cities more efficiently.

She said: “I’m really passionate about getting more people into science and engineering, so when I found out the theme for the opening ceremony I was over the moon. Many people think science isn’t creative but this goes to show that is can be, while also telling people that all dreams are possible with the right support. We need creative scientists and engineers to help solve big global challenges such as global warming and food shortages.

“I was delighted to be picked after my audition and to be in the final scene was very exciting. We’ve put in around 76 hours of rehearsals since July and everyone has been so enthusiastic and positive. Performing in the Olympic Stadium was a dream come true and really highlighted to me the scale and importance of the Paralympics.”

The ceremony marked the start of what is already the most successful Paralympics ever in terms of ticket sales, with a record-breaking 2.2 million sold.

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