Energy for Schools
Tell Us Your littleBIGidea & you could win a trip to the USA
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2015 Winners

2015 Winners

Congratulations to our three major prize winners who are each heading off on an innovation adventure of a lifetime to the USA!

Years 3 - 4

Greta Cummins

Gol Gol Public School, NSW

Nine year old Greta has come up with a fantastic vehicle safety product – a small device that contacts emergency services once your car’s air bag 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.

Years 5 - 6

William Grame

St Edmunds College, ACT

Ten year old William 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 – whoops!

William’s littleBIGidea is 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.

Check out William’s video, he’s designed a fantastic prototype.

Years 7 - 8

Oscar Robert Mason

West Wyalong High School, NSW

We often hear about the tragedy of unattended children dying in hot cars.

13 year old Oscar has set out to combat this issue with his littleBIGidea – the Baby Buddy.

The Baby Buddy is a baby seat designed to alert people to the existence of a child trapped in a hot car by utilising the car horn and a bright light.

Here’s how it works. When a baby sits in the seat, pressure plates are activated. Once the temperature inside the car reaches a dangerous level, the bright light flashes and the car horn sounds.

The air conditioning is then switched on, cooling the car and saving the baby.

2015 Awards ceremony

All of our finalists attended an action packed National Awards Ceremony at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney on Tuesday 6 October, 2015 where they appeared on Channel 9’s Today show before preventing their inventions to our judging panel featuring James O’Loghlin; Dr Rob Bell from the CSIRO and Network Ten’s ‘Scope’; and Shelly Horton, host and producer of Mamamia TV.

All of our finalists did an amazing job with the event culminating in the announcement of our three national winners!

2015 Runners up

Congratulations also to our nine runners up who have each won $1,000! Other prizes include an education conference up to the value of $1,000 for the nominated teacher of each of the 12 finalists.

YEAR 3 - 4

Charlotte Dries

St. Andrew's Cathedral School, NSW

Have you ever wondered where your broken umbrellas end up? The answer is landfill. Every year thousands of umbrellas are thrown in the bin and end up as waste – but not if 10 year old Charlotte has her way! Charlotte’s littleBIGidea is called The Umbrella Fella. A state-of-the-art recycling system for umbrellas! Simply place your broken or unwanted umbrellas in the designated collection bins. From here The Umbrella Fella truck will collect the umbrellas and take them away to be disassembled and sorted for recycling – this idea receives a big tick from the environment!

Kristi Elise O'Donnell

Stradbroke School, SA

When you’re out and about on a beautiful sunny day it can sometimes be difficult to see the screen on your smart phone or tablet because of the glare. Don’t head back inside – 9 year old Kristi has the perfect solution, a concertina umbrella that attaches to your device! Stay outside and soak up some vitamin D while continuing to study, take photos or email a friend without the hassle of squinting or using your hand to shade your screen. This simple but effective idea comes in loads of awesome colours and patterns!

Holly Cooper

Belair Public School, NSW

Holly came up with her littleBIGidea after her sister was diagnosed with Graves Disease which requires her to take medicine for the rest of her life. Holly wants to create a watch with alarm capabilities and a small, lockable compartment where you can store your medicine. A discreet alarm sounds when it is time to take your medicine, which is right there on your wrist. Handy! The compartment is locked with a pin code only known to you, so only you can access it. This watch will also have loads of other features including event reminders and phone capabilities!

YEAR 5 - 6

Savannah Kemp

West Beach Primary School, SA

Do you wear glasses? Have you ever found yourself outside, walking your dog or riding your bike or playing with your friends when a storm hits and suddenly you can’t see because there is rain pouring down your specs? If the answer is yes, then worry no more! 11 year old Savannah has come up with a solution – water repellent lenses. Made out of clear glass, these special spectacles have invisible mini spots on them that repel water as it hits the lens. Imagine how much more time you could spend outside with these!

Clare Elizabeth Hengl

Our Lady of Lourdes, NSW

How often do you find yourself wondering if your pet has been fed, if so when, and who did it? Introducing the Smart Pet Food Bowl! The brainchild of 11 year old Clare, this bowl comes with a smart phone and tablet app. If you feed your pet, simply enter your name into the Bowl. If no one feeds the pet, then a message is sent to all numbers and email addresses pre-recorded into the Bowl’s log. It gets better – Clare’s littleBIGidea comes with a pet-feeding tally, so you and your family can see who has fed your pet the most!

Ebony Lewis

Kooringal Public School, NSW

Every summer Australians and tourists flock to the beach and even under the watchful eye of our expert lifeguards, swimmers can drown and children can get lost. 11 year old Ebony has come up with a littleBIGidea that can help our overburdened lifeguards – wristbands for all beachgoers that can track the movements of, and alert lifeguards to the location of the wearers. These wristbands are connected to a central computer in the lifeguard tower and use GPS technology to provide accurate data. Another useful feature is a sunscreen reminder alert that goes off every 30 minutes!

YEAR 7 - 8

Hewitt Yong Le

Bossley Park High School, NSW

Do you have the same school bag as everyone else in your class? Is it sometimes difficult to find your bag at the end of the day in the rush to get home? 13 year old Hewitt understands this completely! Hewitt’s littleBIGidea is the Sensor Bag! No longer will you have to wade through piles of bags to find your own or grab someone else’s by mistake. Simply call out your name and your bag will begin to flash – but only for a few seconds so you can maximise the life of the sensor’s battery. Great thinking Hewitt!

Mason Staples-Ashforth

Southern Christian College, TAS

Did you know that 2% of adults, one in ten babies and 6% of children have a food allergy? There is no cure for this, only avoidance. 13 year old Mason’s littleBIGidea is to protect people from accidently eating something they are allergic to by testing for trigger protein in food using a chemical test strip. The idea is simple – take a sample of what you are about to eat and quickly test if for the protein molecule that causes your allergy. Mason’s idea is that you can do this by placing the sample onto a test strip which in turn will alert you to the presence of this molecule!

Mia Barnes

Perth College,WA

14 year old Mia has come up with a revolutionary littleBIGidea – The Robotic Arm. The Robotic Arm is intended for use by sufferers of muscular and neural problems including muscular dystrophy, Parkinson’s disease, ALS and more. Unlike a traditional robotic arm, this device fits like a sock over the existing arm of the wearer. It has retracting bands that move the wearer’s arms and hands about. The idea is it helps people with their day to day activities such as eating and shopping. In case of a malfunction, the Robotic Arm is programmed to switch off and relax the wearer’s own arm.

About the competition

littleBIGidea is a national schools competition run by Origin that aims to foster creativity and innovation in students from Years 3-8.

The competition provides 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; Shelly Horton, senior editor at Mamamia; and Dr Robert Bell, host of kids science show on TEN, Scope.

The Top 12 ideas – including the three overall winners - will be selected based on an exceptional demonstration of originality, creativity, practicality, imagination and innovation.

littleBIGidea is part of Origin's Energy for Schools program – a free, online education resource for teachers and students between Years 3 and 8. This year marks the program's 12th anniversary.

For Teachers

Origin’s littleBIGidea competition is a great classroom activity that helps kids have fun and learn about creative problem solving with a practical focus.

Information for teachers littleBIGidea

Terms & Conditions

Abridged terms and conditions

Conditions apply - see Terms and conditions. Starts 9am AEST 1/6/15. Online entries close 11:59pm AEST 21/8/15. Mail entries must be sent by 21/8/15 & received by last mail 28/8/15. Open to Aust. residents who are students in Grades 3 – 8 in a primary or secondary school (or are home schooled in these year levels) in Aust. Must have consent from parent/guardian and teacher to enter. Limit 1 entry per person. Group entries not accepted. Entries will be divided into categories: Grades 3 & 4; Grades 5 & 6; and Grades 7 & 8. If selected as a finalist, must attend ceremony (with parent/guardian) in Sydney on 6/10/15. If elected as a major prize trip winner, must travel to USA within 12 months of ceremony. See Conditions for full entry requirements and how finalists and inners are selected.