As Origin’s littleBIGidea enters its third year of celebrating Australia’s young inventors, two previous national award winners have already used their award as a platform to achieving even greater things.

 

Eleven year old William Grame has already commercialised his award winning idea from 2015 – a small, lightweight test strip disposal unit that can fit into a diabetic testing kit. This budding young entrepreneur has set up his own company, has a patent pending on his invention, has already sold 350 units and counting.

For 15-year-old Reece Hopley, who won the Year 7/8 award category in 2014, winning littleBIGidea has been a life-changing experience. As a result of his prize winning trip to NASA, Reece has rubbed shoulders with an astrophysicist who worked on the Hubble Telescope, a Nobel Prize winner, and has the support of a Doctor of Astronomy in Sydney as his professional mentor. Reece has also started his second online University Course in Astronomy and Cosmology and is preparing to compete in the upcoming Junior Young Physicist Tournament. 

“Winning Origin’s littleBIGidea has provided me with some amazing opportunities”, says Reece. “The places I have been, the people I have met and the things I have been able to do have opened so many doors. I strongly encourage students to get involved and get creative, because you never know where it might lead.”

The quest to unearth 2016’s class of young inventors starts today when applications for littleBIGidea 2016 open via www.littlebigidea.com.au.

Entry is open to children from Grade 3 to Grade 8, and all children need to do is submit their ideas – no matter how big or small – for how to make the world a better place. Tips on how to get creative and how to enter can be found on the littleBIGidea website. Entries close at 11.59pm on Friday 30 September, 2016.

The best invention in each of the three age categories (Grade 3-4, Grade 5-6 and Year 7-8) will win an innovation trip of a lifetime to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Epcot Theme Park – Walt Disney World in Florida, USA.

“Innovation is a key to success and it starts young – that is why Origin is committed to fostering creativity in young people and rewarding children for thinking creatively about how to solve real world problems,” says Frank Calabria, CEO Energy Markets, Origin.

“In the first two years of Origin’s littleBIGidea, we have unearthed many great inventions, and the judges are very excited to see what this year’s batch of entries will produce.”

Former host of the ABC’s ‘The New Inventors’ and Origin littleBIGidea ambassador, James O’Loghlin, said:

“Children are naturally curious, and one of the most important roles of parents and teachers is to help foster that creativity and love of learning.”

“Origin’s littleBIGidea provides a great opportunity for kids to get creative and foster their problem solving skills, curiosity and adaptability. Regardless of what happens to their ideas, the process of invention itself can be its own reward.”

More information on littleBIGidea alumni

2015: William Grame, St Edmunds College, National Winner, Grade 5 – 6 category

William Graeme has Type One diabetes. Each day he is required to test his blood sugar levels eight to ten times using a test strip and a finger pricker. The test strips are fiddly, unhygienic once used and are often found on the floor around the house by William’s mum. William’s littleBIGidea was a small, lightweight test strip disposal unit that can fit into a diabetic’s testing kit. The concept is simple – it’s a place to store the used test strips! Once your unit is full, simply empty it into a bin.

2014: Reece Hopley, All Saints Anglican School’s, National winner, Grade 7 – 8 category

Reece Hopley’s littleBIGidea was to use a sheet of real or synthetic tourmaline (a commonly occurring mineral/gemstone) as an interim charging option, providing energy to people caught out with low battery power on phones and watches without access to a power outlet. When negatively charged photons from the sun reach the tourmaline they are absorbed, working like an electric circuit to create pyroelectricity. 


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Stuart Osbourne
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