Three of Australia’s most innovative young inventors will be jetting off to NASA Kennedy Space Centre in the USA after being announced as the national winners of Origin’s littleBIGidea competition.

From more than 3,000 entries in this year’s littleBIGidea competition, the following children were judged to have the most innovative ideas with the greatest potential:

  • Grade 3 – 4: Hamish Lane, 10, St Vincents Primary School (QLD) – Hamish’s Colour Blind Watch was inspired by his little brother who is colour blind and often requires assistance in identifying colours. The Colour Blind Watch combines wearable technology with an inbuilt colour detection sensor to help the wearer identify colours simply by pointing at objects. (View Hamish’s video here)
  • Grade 5 – 6: Anthony Foong, 11, Beecroft Public School (NSW) – Anthony’s A-Watch has been designed to identify when someone is in anaphylactic shock or experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest. As a child growing up with allergies, the A-Watch was inspired to help people like himself by swiftly self-injecting lifesaving medication that could save lives. The A-Watch features a compartment containing medication with built in capabilities to monitor a person’s heart rate, identify location and alert emergency contacts.  (View Anthony’s video here)
  • Grade 7 – 8: Charlie Johnstone, 14, Canterbury College (QLD) – Re-Print was inspired by Charlie’s desire to minimise environmental waste while making access to 3D printing technology easier. Re-Print is a granular furnace dual processor which repurposes plastic PET bottles into 3D printer spools that can be recycled and drastically reduce the expensive costs associated with producing 3D prints. (View Charlie’s video here)

The winning ideas were judged on creativity, practicality and originality by a panel of experts including biomedical engineer and inventor, Dr Jordan Nguyen, and Anna Cain Engineers Without Borders Australia.

“It’s been incredible to see so many students get involved this year to submit their inspiring and innovative ideas,” said Dr Jordan Nguyen.

“The entries show such great thoughtfulness, empathy and creativity, and reinforces to me that we are in excellent hands with our next generation. Many ideas that we’ve seen have been inspired to help people with illnesses or disabilities, along with ideas to improve our impact on the environment through challenging and strengthening technologies of today.”

Origin’s littleBIGidea encourages children to think creatively about how to solve real world problems – and aims to foster problem solving skills, curiosity and adaptability, drawing in a record number of entries this year.

“Many inventions showcased really clever and inspiring thinking that challenged real world problems,” added Origin Energy CEO, Frank Calabria.

“Hamish’s Colour Blind Watch uses existing technologies to come up with a fresh approach to a problem that many people face each day, while Anthony’s A-Watch reveals inspirational insight and practical thinking that could save lives. Charlie’s Re-Print was inspired by innovative technology and designed to minimise our environmental impact – one of many outstanding ideas inspired by passion to pave a more sustainable future for generations to come.”

“Congratulations to all children who entered this year and to our deserving national winners. This is the fifth year of littleBIGidea and we have once again been blown away by the outstanding creativity of young Australians.”

Since launching in 2014, Origin’s littleBIGidea has received more than 7,000 entries with some previous winners going on to further their inventions and commercialise their ideas.

Hamish, Anthony and Charlie are excited to embark on their innovation adventure to NASA Kennedy Space Center and will also be visiting the Epcot Theme Park at Disneyworld and Ripley’s Believe It or Not along with a parent or guardian.

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Stuart Osbourne
External Affairs
Ph: +61 3 9652 5781
Mobile: +61 427 586 401