Calling creative student inventors - Education Matters Magazine

Calling creative student inventors

The search has begun for Australia’s next generation of inventors, with students in Years 3-8 invited to enter their innovative ideas for the chance to win a trip to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in the USA.

Origin’s littleBIGidea competition invites students to submit ideas big and small, with the top 12 finalists each receiving $1000 towards education within their chosen field, and one-on-one mentoring designed by Engineers Without Borders Australia. An all-expenses paid trip to NASA will be awarded to three winners.

“From day one, littleBIGidea has encouraged young Australians to harness their originality, imagination and innovation. Past ideas have focused on assisting the community, transforming the health industry and creating a more sustainable future. I’m looking forward to seeing the ideas that will emerge this year from our changemakers of tomorrow,” said biomedical engineer, Dr Jordan Nguyen, who returns one of the judges for this year’s competition.

Macinley Butson, 2018 NSW Young Australian of the Year, will be on the judging panel this year for the first time. “I started inventing in primary school, so I know firsthand how curious and creative young minds can be. I’m so excited to be supporting up-and-coming inventors who are shaping the future of Australia,” she said.

Origin’s littleBIGidea competition has received over 7000 entries since it was launched in 2014. Previous winners include Bridgette Veneris (2016) who invented a band-aid dispenser, and Charlie Johnstone (2018) who created Re-Print – a product to help minimise environmental waste and make access to 3D printing easier.

“We are incredibly proud of the littleBIGidea competition,” said Origin CEO Frank Calabria. “It’s one of the ways we’re inspiring students and investing in Australia’s future leaders. It’s a great opportunity for young people to tackle real-world problems using creativity and practical thinking, and I’m always impressed by the ideas we receive.”

To enter, students need to describe their invention in 200 words or less. They can also include an illustration or short video to support their submission. Entries are open until Friday 13 September 2019 and can be submitted by clicking here.