Bright idea rewards and inspires pupils
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.
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.
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.