Australia’s brightest young thinkers could be jetting off to NASA’s Cape Kennedy Space Centre later this year thanks to a new Origin initiative, littleBIGidea, that aims to foster creativity and innovation in students from grade 3-8.

The competition, launched today by Origin, aims to provide a platform for students to continue Australia’s rich tradition of innovation which has seen solar hot water, the black box flight recorder, the fridge and the bionic ear, amongst others, invented and developed on these shores.

littleBIGidea judges include James O’Loghlin, former host of the ABC’s ‘The New Inventors’; Christie Burnett, Editor of popular parenting blog; and Bernard Caleo, presenter of Origin Energy for Schools shows.

“With new technologies being developed every day, it’s a really exciting time to be encouraging the next generation of Australians to unearth the nation’s next littleBIGidea, no matter how big or small,” said James O’Loghlin.

The Top 12 ideas will be selected based on an exceptional demonstration of originality, creativity, practicality, imagination and innovation. The 12 finalists will be invited to attend the littleBIGidea forum in Sydney this October to present their idea to the judging panel.

Three overall winners will win a trip to Florida, USA to visit innovative hotspots including the Cape Kennedy Space Centre, Epcot Theme Park – Walt Disney World Florida and Ripley’s Believe it or Not. Other prizes include $1,000 in education grants for each of the 9 runners-up; $4,000 to spend on energy upgrades for the 12 finalist student’s schools; plus and tickets to an education conference for the teacher nominated by each of these students.

Origin National Community Partnerships Manager Amy Stockfeld said, “Our 2013 schools competition Power Pioneers called on students to send in their ideas for energy inventions. We received over 750 entries and were so impressed with the quality of entries that we decided to broaden this year’s competition to ideas of any kind. Who knows, we may even discover the next fridge or black box in our search!

“There are no restrictions on how big or small the idea – it could be an invention, an energy saving technology or a simple way to make life a little easier.”

This year marks the 11th anniversary of Origin’s Energy for Schools program (previously called Energy Savers) – one of Australia’s most successful education programs with 40% of primary schools1 currently teaching the free online resources in their classrooms.

Australian students from grade three – year eight can enter by visiting

Entries close at 11.59pm AEST Friday 5 September 2014.


Belinda de Maid
Senior Campaigns & Partnerships Advisor
Ph: +61 3 8665 7183
Mobile: +61 477 307 721

  1. According to 2013 ABS data