ONE of Australia's most exciting inventors is joining forces with Australia's leading energy company to reward budding junior inventors with recognition, industry support and a trip to NASA in the United States.
Dr Jordan Nguyen, biomedical engineer, humanitarian, technology futurist, inventor and award-winning documentary maker and presenter, joins Origin's littleBIGidea as head judge and ambassador for the competition's fourth year of fostering creativity and innovation in young Australians.
Applications for Origin's littleBIGidea are open to budding young inventors from Grades 3 to 8 until September 15.
Children from the Country Coast and Capricornia are invited to summarise their idea in 200 words or less - describing what their idea is, what problem it is designed to solve, and how they came up with the idea.
The top 12 ideas will win their creator $1,000, participation in a design workshop, and support from an industry mentor to help further develop their idea. The best invention in each of the three age categories (grades 3-4, grades 5-6 and years 7-8) will win their creator a trip to NASA in the United States.
"The greatest inspiration for ideas usually comes from your own life and experiences,” said Jordan.
"My passion for technology to help empower people with disabilities is a direct result of a diving accident leading me to meet amazing friends who will contribute so much to society when the right technological tools become available.
"So I encourage kids to look at their own life and the world around them, and use their own interests and experiences to help inspire their idea and their thinking.”
The young founder of social business Psykinetic, which is focused on using technology to empower people with disabilities, counts among his many inventions a mind-controlled wheelchair and an instrument that has allowed a friend with cerebral-palsy to fulfil her lifelong ambition of playing music.
Dr Nguyen will bring his humanitarian engineering experience and passion to the competition which has already produced a number of inventions that have received patents and been commercialised by their young creators.
"I am passionate about encouraging creativity and innovation from an early age to move towards being the great problem solvers of our future. So I'm excited to be involved with a competition that champions young Australians, providing them with opportunities to succeed and realise their own potential,” he said.
"I hope many more children will be inspired to participate in Origin's littleBIGidea this year and I look forward to seeing the great ideas they come up with.”
For more information about the competition and how to enter, visit www.littlebigidea.com.au.