He’s wide awake when it mat­ters

Central Leader - - News - By Carly Tawhiao

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.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Bright spark: Mt Roskill Gram­mar pre­fect Ab­hi­lash Kami­neni de­signed and built an award winning clock that took him to Tai­wan last month.

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