Congratulations to the winners of 2016 ASB Bright Sparks Awards!

Wednesday 23rd November 2016

ASB BrightSparks is New Zealand’s premier competition for young people to showcase their skills in electronics, technology, software and science. Baldwins is proud to be a sponsor of this empowering and meritorious programme for another year.

Now in its 16th year running, ASB BrightSparks calls for entries from young people in both junior (under 14) and senior (over 15) age ranges, who are then in with a chance to win their share of a $10,000 prize pool. The Bright Sparks competition is administered by the Skills Organisation. Along with our sponsorship of the annual event, Baldwins also offers entrants intellectual property advice and key pointers in relation to their bright ideas, inventions and creations.

Baldwins would like to extend a huge congratulations to the winners and finalists of the 2016 Bright Sparks Awards. Baldwins’ representatives had the privilege of attending the Awards evening at The Cube at ASB North Wharf and Baldwins patent associate, John Foulkes, was “extremely impressed by the level of knowledge, innovation and energy in the room”. The Awards evening recognised the level of skill, thought, effort and time put in to each and every invention showcased.  The Awards categories included science, engineering, software, environment, best concept, overall male, overall female and people’s choice award.

Mitchell Hollows of South Otago High School won both the Engineering (senior) and Overall Male categories with his ‘Koru Paua Tool’. Mitchell’s invention, inspired by his keen interest in diving, measures shellfish paua without needing to touch them, which can cause them to die unnecessarily. Mitchell said he “saw a problem, and was keen to have a go at fixing it”. In a similar vein, Mikayla Stokes also identified a problem for which she sought to find a solution, this time in relation to reducing pollution in Auckland. Mikayla was a finalist in three senior Awards categories and overall female winner for her invention, the ‘Pollution Sensor’. She built and placed eight prototype sensors in various areas around Auckland to detect levels of particulate matter pollution which then send live data to an online cloud server for analysis.   

The People’s Choice Award went to Ben Fletcher of Long Bay College for his ‘Torpedo’ invention. ‘Torpedo’ is a fishing torpedo with an electronic compass, which takes bearings via a GPS and takes your fishing line to those bearings. The invention was motivated by Ben’s interest in science, engineering, electronics and mathematics, as well as his desire to always own a fishing torpedo which, bought the traditional way, were too expensive. Other winning or finalist inventions included ‘Grip Tech’ by junior student Hayden Schmidt, which usefully measures the strength of a patient’s hand in three dimensions and sends this data to a therapist, and Northcross Intermediate’s Rosa Katavich’s ‘Fatty Cat Feeder’, in which a ramp lowers to dispense a certain amount of food depending on a cat’s weight.  

To see the full list of winners and finalists for 2016, please see the BrightSparks website here.

This article was written by Vicky Mullins. 

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