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Young students with big ideas

Young Nambour inventors Luke Rippingill and Allisha Skeen could be a launching to greater things, thanks to a national innovation competition.

The young 11-year-old and 12-year-old innovators, both in Grade 6 at Nambour Christian College, have entered their inventions into Origin’s littleBIGidea and are in the running to win the trip of a lifetime to visit the NASA Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, USA.

Now in its fourth year, Origin’s littleBIGidea provides students with an opportunity to continue Australia’s rich tradition of innovation which has seen plastic bank notes, the bionic ear and Wi-Fi technology invented and developed on these shores.

Luke’s littleBIGidea entry the ‘Cooler Collar’ is a hollow, solar-powered dog collar designed to keep dogs cool during hot weather.

“My creation was inspired by my love for dogs and I wanted to create something that would help them thrive in hot conditions,” he said.

“I did some research and found that too many dogs die or suffer from heat stroke every year, so I wanted to invent something that would prevent that.”

Allisha’s entry the ‘Fish Plant’ is a self-cleaning reusable water fish tank. Allisha said she was inspired by researching sustainability ideas online based around plants.

“I wanted to create something that would save water and provide a way to re-use it,” she said.

“I thought it would be a good idea to combine two popular things found in households, plants and pet fish, when creating my design.

“This would appeal to families while helping the environment.

“I love designing and thinking of new ideas, so the Little Big Idea competition has been lots of fun for me.”

Inventor Jordan Nguen is an ambassador and judge for the competition, and said he was constantly inspired by young people’s creativity.

“Origin’s littleBIGidea is an incredible opportunity for children to develop their ideas, explore, experiment and, most importantly, have fun,” Dr Nguyen said.

“By having a go and entering your idea, you will be in the running to receive great rewards and recognition including mentoring support and a trip to the USA.”

The top 12 inventions will win $1,000 for their creator, participation in a design workshop, and support from an industry mentor to help further their idea.

The best invention in each of the three categories (grades 3-4, grades 5-6, grades 7-8) will win their inventor a trip to NASA in the USA. Entries close on September 15.

Story from Sunshine Coast Daily.

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