Scientists make a dragon for Sophie

Last updated 07:27 14/01/2014
Fairfax Australia

Australian scientists have been hard at work after getting a letter from Sophie Lester, 7, asking for her own dragon.

3D dragon
CSIRO
SCIENTIFIC: CSIRO hopped straight to work to make Sophie her own dragon.

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Sophie Lester asked for a dragon - and science delivered.

Australia's national science agency, CSIRO, Melbourne has created Sophie, 7, her very own titanium dragon, modelled after Toothless from the movie How to Train Your Dragon, after she wrote to them asking for some dragon research.

"We couldn't sit here and do nothing," wrote CSIRO. "After all, we promised Sophie we would look into it."

Scientists spent two days designing and printing the dragon, using their state-of-the-art 3D printer.

"Her letter was very hopeful and it was very polite and we wanted to encourage her curiosity and encourage her love of science," said a spokesperson for the CSIRO.

Sophie's mother Melissah Lester said she was overwhelmed with the CSIRO's response.

"It's beautiful, I've just seen it. I haven't had a chance to show Sophie yet. She's going to scream," she said.

CSIRO said they had received a number of offers of support since Sophie's story went viral last week.

One special offer came from the director of How to Train Your Dragon, who saw Sophie's request and will now also be sending her a dragon to call her own.

Lester said when she got the phone call from Dreamworks, she thought it must be a prank call.

"Someone from Dreamworks called this morning and the director had asked to ask Sophie why Toothless is a girl? They were fascinated that Sophie thought Toothless was a girl," she said.

Sophie made headlines world-wide this week after she wrote to the CSIRO asking them to help make her a dragon.

To her mother's amusement, Australia's primary research agency responded, saying they were sorry they hadn't been putting more time into their dragon research program.

"Titanium is super strong and lightweight, so Toothless will be a very capable flyer," Additive Manufacturing operations manager Chad Henry said.

Lester said it has been incredible how quickly the story has spread across the world.

"I've had a friend saying that her friend saw it in New York and they were talking about it in her office building. I had another friend saying someone called her from the UK asking 'Have you seen this great letter from a little girl in Brisbane?'," she said.

"It's just been amazing."

However although Sophie may now be an internet sensation, Lester said she hadn't told her about it yet.

"She doesn't know. She knows she was on television on Wednesday evening and she knows she'll be in the local paper but I've left the rest of it out," she said.

"We definitely will tell her one day, but possibly not when she's a teenager."

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- Canberra Times

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