Our So­phie Crispe is a real bright spark

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - ABBY BROWN

An award win­ning Mata­mata In­ter­me­di­ate stu­dent could help more than just her mum.

At the Bright Sparks award cer­e­mony on Oc­to­ber 30, where she won the ju­nior soft­ware sec­tion, So­phie Crispe was able to net­work with industry peo­ple in­ter­ested in us­ing her in­ven­tion. It could be use­ful for stroke vic­tims and those with brain tu­mours. Some­one who suf­fered mi­graines has also found it help­ful.

At her school’s sci­ence fair the Mata­mata In­ter­me­di­ate stu­dent placed sec­ond in the year seven tech­nol­ogy cat­e­gory. At the Ing­hams East Waikato Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy Fair, where she won the Ki­wa­nis Ju­nior Cup and gained a judges merit award for ex­cel­lence, a judge said the app should be pro­moted to the New Zealand Rugby Union as it could be used by rugby play­ers to track symp­toms af­ter con­cus­sions.

So­phie, 12, made My Brain Diary so her mum, Moira, could rank her symp­toms from one to five as she re­cov­ered from a brain in­jury af­ter a car ac­ci­dent in 2013.

Moira had tried to do this on pa­per be­fore her daugh­ter made the app but when she looked back at her notes she had all th­ese num­bers, but they weren’t in the same or­der each day so she couldn’t tell what symp­toms they were cor­re­spond­ing to.

The app also graphs symp­toms, which Moira had tried to do on Ex­cel but she was too ex­hausted to con­tinue it. ‘‘I think just to see you are mak­ing im­prove­ment was help­ful be­cause some­times it felt like Ground­hog Day.’’ The app also made her re­alise she couldn’t tie her own shoes and had got around that by wear­ing slip-on shoes, al­though that was no longer an is­sue.

The app also helped Moira recog­nise what made her symp­toms worse. ‘‘For me fa­tigue made my mem­ory go.’’

Moira could also put re­minders into the app so she could re­mem­ber to eat break­fast or where she had put items.

So­phie got ad­vice from an oc­cu­pa­tional ther­a­pist so she knew what in­for­ma­tion they would want from pa­tients and got a de­signer to make the app.

The an­nual Bright Sparks Awards is a show­case of school stu­dents’ pro­to­types us­ing elec­tron­ics, en­gi­neer­ing or pro­gram­ming el­e­ments.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

Award win­ning app in­ven­tor So­phie Crispe and her mum Moira, who in­spired the idea, at the Bright Sparks cer­e­mony.

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