Bright idea re­wards and in­spires pupils

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By ABBY BROWN

A group of Mata­mata Col­lege stu­dents who cre­ated a so­lar- pow­ered phone charger has had their cre­ativ­ity re­warded.

The group, which branded the prod­uct the Sig­mar So­lar, won the Stafford En­gi­neer­ing Award for Tech­nol­ogy at Waikato/ King Coun­try YES Awards on Oc­to­ber 23.

One mem­ber of the group, Re­becca Billing­ham, has been in­spired by their award to pur­sue an in­ter­est in tech­nol­ogy- based ap­pli­ca­tions.

The year 12 stu­dent will take an IT- based course next year at school which may follow through into univer­sity.

She had al­ready com­peted in some tech­nol­ogy com­pe­ti­tions and en­joyed the com­puter cour­ses Mata­mata Col­lege of­fered be­fore en­ter­ing the YES com­pe­ti­tion.

‘‘I have been look­ing at tech­nol­ogy for a while and this com­pe­ti­tion showed me that I love it,’’ she said.

She would ei­ther go do a com­puter pro­gram­ming course at univer­sity, where she would de­sign sys­tems for com­put­ers, or teach­ing, she said.

Through

cre­at­ing

the charger the group, which also in­cludes Cameron Colville, Megan Jamieson, Dil­lon Sankey, Lawrence Cloth­ier and An­dre Loub­ser, learnt a lot about elec­tron­ics and how so­lar power works.

The group made two so­lar-pow­ered charg­ers and have sold one.

The group would fo­cus on school exams now and might mar­ket the charger next year.

More than 2500 stu­dents na­tion­wide took part in The Lion Foun­da­tion Young En­ter­prise Scheme this year, set­ting up 600 small busi­nesses along the way. The pro­gramme is run na­tion­wide by Young En­ter­prise Trust.

Photo: ABBY BROWN

IN­SPIRED STU­DENT: Re­becca Billing­ham, who was one of six Mata­mata Col­lege stu­dents who cre­ated an award-win­ning so­lar pow­ered cell­phone charger, shows its in­ner work­ings.

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