Young entrepreneurs shine

Tauranga Girls’ College students won the senior Young Innovator Award with their iBrite LED strips to assist dyslexic students in reading and writing.

Young entrepreneurs have uncovered solutions to real life problems at this year’s Young Innovator Awards.

The Young Innovator Awards is a local awards programme for students in Tauranga/Western Bay of Plenty which is designed to promote innovation.

Event coordinator Lynne Parlane says this year’s event was the best yet with a total of 505 entries – a rise from 2016 which had 332 entries.

“This year’s winners ticked all the boxes,” says Lynne.

“It’s all about young people defining a real life problem, and understanding the needs of a person and using a design thinking process to find a solution.”

“In a world of increased globalisation we need young people to be able to problem-solve and we want them to be able to think and understand the process of discovering new ideas.”

Taking out the senior award was iBrite, a set of LED strips designed by a group of Tauranga Girls’ College students to assist dyslexic students in reading and writing by using coloured overlays to relax the brain and allow it to then interpret information more easily.

The product has previously taken out awards at other local competitions including the regional MashUp and Dragon’s Den competitions.

Otumoetai College student Emily Mahon received the junior award for her device, a pressurised steering wheel cover designed to combat texting while driving.

The steering wheel cover senses when there is not enough pressure and will beep until both hands are back safely on the wheel.

The winning entries, judged by New Zealand’s top innovators, win a YiA Scholarship – a combination of work experience with leading Bay of Plenty businesses and cash prizes.

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