Bright sparks pitch their big ideas

James O'Loghlin will head the judging panel of Origin's littleBIGidea. 159636

THREE local students’ bright ideas could become the next life-changing Australian invention, thanks to a national competition that aims to foster creativity and innovation in students from Grades 3 to 8.
The budding inventors from Our Lady Star of the Sea Primary School have entered their bright ideas into Origin’s littleBIGidea competition and are in the running to win an innovation trip of a lifetime, including a visit to NASA Cape Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, US.
Now in its third year, Origin’s littleBIGidea provides a platform for students to continue Australia’s rich tradition of innovation, which has seen the black box flight recorder, the bionic ear, Wi-Fi hotspots and the humble notepad, among others, invented and developed on these shores.
Makaelah Naus’s littleBIGidea entry – age 12, “Barcode Allergy Scanner” is a smartphone application which would utilise product barcodes to identify ingredients for those suffering food allergies. By scanning the individual barcodes, the user would attain extensive information on preservatives and other elements within food items and would reduce the occurrence of anaphylaxis.
Ashton Byron’s littleBIGidea entry – age 11, “Clothesline Umbrella” is a waterproof shade cloth which would detect rain through sensors, activating a clear umbrella to cover your clothesline if you were not at home and able to take the washing off the line. The idea could be used on retractable clothes lines as well as the four-point Hills Hoist style clothesline.
James Devine’s littleBIGidea entry – age 10, “Suction Cup” is a simple suction device added to wine glasses or any glass bottles to prevent glass smashing at parties and other celebratory occasions. The device would stick to the tabletop and reduce any excessive clean-up and broken glass.
The judging panel, headed up by former host of ABC’s ‘The New Inventors’ and Origin littleBIGidea ambassador James O’Loghlin, said he’s impressed with the calibre of this year’s entries and is looking forward to seeing more as the competition continues.
“Children have fascinating and limitless imaginations. Origin’s littleBIGidea is a fantastic way for kids to explore, experiment, think up ideas and create a new invention that could lead them to the innovation capital of the world – NASA Cape Kennedy Space Centre,” Mr O’Loghlin said.
“We’re looking for creative ideas that demonstrate originality, practicality, imagination and innovation. So if you’re inspired by Makaelah’s, Ashton’s and James’ littleBIGidea, why not enter one yourself? You too, could be in the running to win a trip to the US,” he said.