Young Aussie inventors win trip to NASA

Three of Australia’s brightest school students will be jetting off to NASA after being announced winners of the 2015 Origin littleBIGidea competition.

The competition attracted more than 850 innovative entries, from students between Years 3 and 8, all with the aim to continue Australia’s rich tradition of innovation, which has seen inventions like the bionic ear and solar hot water developed on these shores.

The Winners

The 2015 OriginlittleBIGidea winners are:

  • Greta Cummins from Gol Gol Public School, NSW in the Year 3-4 Category for her AirBag Alarm idea
  • William Grame from St Edmunds College, ACT in the Year 5-6 Category for his Blood Test Strip Disposal Unit idea
  • Oscar Mason from West Wyalong High School, NSW in the Year 7-8 Category for his Baby Buddy idea

Pictured above: littleBIGidea winners and judges. L- R, back row: Judges – James O’Loghin, former presenter of ABC’s The Inventors, NSW Minister for Industry, Energy and Resources, the Honourable Anthony Roberts, Energy Bob (mascot), Dr Rob Bell from CSIRO and host of science show Scope, Frank Calabria, CEEO Energy Markets, Origin. L – R front row: Winners – William Grame, Greta Cummins, Oscar Mason, and judge Shelley Horton, host and producer of Mamamia TV. 

THE WINNING IDEAS

AirBag Alarm

This small device is a vehicle safety product that contacts emergency services once your car’s airbag has been deployed and alerts them to your exact position using GPS technology. If you find that you don’t require immediate assistance, you have one minute to cancel the call before it is automatically placed.

This could help save lives, especially for those who find themselves in remote or quiet locations where nearby assistance isn’t available.  

The Blood Test Strip Disposal Unit

Many Type 1 diabetics are required to test their blood sugar levels throughout the day using test strips and finger prickers. The test strips are fiddly, unhygienic once used and in William’s case (the inventor), they are often found on the floor around the house by his mum.

This winning idea was designed as a solution to dispose of these testing strips. A lightweight 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.  

The Baby Buddy

Australian law states you should never leave children unattended in the car, but despite legislation and warnings there are still some tragic accidents which take place. The baby buddy is an idea to help prevent accidently unattended children dying in hot cars. The specially designed car seat has pressure plates, which are activated when the baby sits in the seat. When the temperature inside the car reaches a dangerous level, a bright light flashes and the car horn will sound. The air conditioning is then switched on, cooling the car and the baby. 

The students’ brilliant ideas for the future have won them each an innovation trip of a lifetime to Florida, USA – including a visit to the NASA Kennedy Space Centre and Epcot Theme Park, Walt Disney World.

Read more about littleBIGidea finalists and their ideas.

littleBIGidea is part of Origin’s Energy for Schools program

Take a look at some of the excellent inventions from littleBIGidea participants.

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