He’s wide awake when it matters
For Mt Roskill Grammar School student Abhilash Kamineni, struggling to get out of bed on school mornings has led to international glory.
The 16-year-old prefect designed and built a touchscreen digital alarm clock which requires some thought to turn off.
“I have trouble getting out of bed in the morning so decided to build a clock that I have to be fully awake to turn off, rather than half asleep.”
Abhilash designed the clock for a school project, then entered it into Brightsparks, a national electronics competition, and won.
“Teachers give you freedom to create what you want. Mr Collis, our head of electronics, slowly introduced fancy components for us to work with.
“You can tell him your idea and he’ll tell you if it’s feasible or not but I think everyone should give Brightsparks a go.”
After winning Brightsparks, he was nominated to take part in Realise the Dream, a week-long event in Wellington for students who excel in research and technology.
Judges were impressed with Abhilash’s project and awarded him a return airfare to compete in the Taiwan International Science Fair.
Abhilash says more than 100 competitors attended the international fair, which had 11 categories.
He came second in the engineering category to another New Zealand contestant, Ben Mulholland from Dunedin.
“Just being able to go and experience a whole new culture was big and exciting,” Abhilash says.
Although in his final year at school, Abhilash completed year 13 physics and chemistry last year and is doing a university maths paper this year.
He is also hoping to win a premier scholarship award and a place in New Zealand’s team for the Chemistry Olympiad in Cambridge in July.
“At least one student from Mt Roskill Grammar has been in the national team for the past six years, so I am very hopeful,” he says.
Bright spark: Mt Roskill Grammar prefect Abhilash Kamineni designed and built an award winning clock that took him to Taiwan last month.