SHOOTING FOR THE STARS
Allora student creates autism tool, wins trip to NASA
YOUNG INVENTOR WINS DREAM TRIP TO NASA IN THE US
A YOUNG Allora inventor leapt for joy yesterday when she discovered she would soon head to the US to visit NASA.
Jasmine Eldridge, 13, from Allora P-10 State School, was named one of three winners of the national Origin Energy littleBIGidea competition during a special assembly at the school.
When the big reveal came, a shell-shocked Jasmine jumped up and down before quickly assessing it as the greatest moment of her life.
“This is so amazing,” she said.
“When I saw the news cameras and the Origin energy banner I knew something was going to happen, but I didn’t expect it to be this.”
Jasmine’s littleBIGidea entry, Dog of Technology (DOT), is designed as an aid to assist children who, like her, live with autism.
DOT is a robot dog that helps remind children to take medication and has a button to notify family members by email or text if they are needed in an emergency.
It also has a removable collar that can be used as a GPS wristband and LED lights are programmed to flash in sequences to help the child calm down.
Jasmine said she hoped both her invention and the win would inspire other children to try to make a difference.
“It’s so cool that my idea has been recognised like this,” she said.
“It just shows that kids can do amazing stuff and people with autism can do amazing stuff. Autism isn’t something to be ashamed of, we see things in a different way and understand things that others may not.”
Jasmine said she hadn’t done much research about the NASA headquarters.
“I didn’t want to get my hopes up and be disappointed if I didn’t win,” she said.
“But now I can’t wait to see where I’ll be going.”
Jasmine’s parents Mark and Shelley were phoned last week and told Jasmine was one of the few national winners out of more than 1000 entries.
“But they asked us to keep it a secret from Jasmine, which was so hard to do,” Mrs Eldridge said.
She will accompany her daughter to NASA on a date yet to be announced.
OVER THE MOON: Allora’s Jasmine Eldridge is off to NASA after winning a national Origin Energy competition.