Young Batehaven inventor could be jetting off to NASA

Sophie Barling

Sophie Barling

St Bernard’s Primary School student, Sophie Barling, has been recognised as one of Australia’s top young inventors.

Sophie, from Batehaven, was picked from more than 3,000 entries in Origin’s littleBIGidea competition.

Sophie has been awarded with $1,000 and will head to Melbourne on Friday 19 October for a design workshop along with 11 other young inventors.

She will create a prototype of her idea as part of her pitch to be crowned one of Origin’s littleBIGidea national winners. The winner wins a trip to NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in the USA.

Sophie’s award winning Lunch Mate is designed to monitor nutritional food value in lunchboxes and encourage healthier food options. Lunch Mate is a digital device that simply attaches the side of a lunch box which measures the nutritional content and further drives awareness via red and green light signals.

Final pitch

Following the workshop, to be hosted by Origin and Engineers Without Borders Australia, all 12 students will make a final video pitch for the littleBIGidea judging panel. Origin littleBIGidea judge and Engineers Without Borders Australia volunteer lead Anna Cain said, “It’s been inspiring to see all the positive ideas and inventions submitted, and it’s exciting to think about how these little ideas could actually come to life and make an impact in the world.

“There have many outstanding submissions this year with students inspired by their thoughtful observations and empathy to help others and improve the world around us.” Origin CEO Frank Calabria said, “Congratulations to Sophie, and to everyone who submitted an idea this year. “We have been overwhelmed by the range of great ideas and record number of submissions we received this year and are thrilled with the 12 finalists whose ideas demonstrate extraordinary creativity and innovation.

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“We are proud of the role that littleBIGidea plays in encouraging and highlighting the creativity of young Australians, which is consistent with Origin’s broader commitment to supporting education.”

National winners – one from each age category – will be announced in late November.

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  • Article supplied by Catholic Education


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