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"The kids are more than alright, they're crazy smart too."

Origin
Thanks to our brand partner, Origin

I loved this competition from Origin; it was such a great concept, asking children to find the next BIG idea because unlike adults they don’t censor themselves; they come up with these grand, completely unique and inventive ideas of how they can make a difference in the world.

There were three different age groups for this comp, school years 3-4, 5-6 and 7-8 with a winner chosen from each age group. I was lucky enough to go down to Melbourne to film at one of the schools and be there with the kids when they came up with ideas.  It was really fun. The cute factor was off the hook.

The powerhouse that is Shelly Horton checking out the talent at St Oliver Plunkett Catholic Primary School in Melbourne.

I found judging the competition really inspiring. It is easy to be jaded when you think about all the problems in the world, but when you see these kids come up with an idea, you see the spark behind their eyes and get a glimpse into all the possibilities that they can see — that we adults can’t.

The winners totally blew me away. Greta Cummins, who won years 3-4, amazed me, not just because her idea was so good but also the way she presented it. Greta’s idea was to introduce an alarm system in cars that contacts emergency services when an air bag is deployed.

It would even give them your GPS location. Greta had seen a story in the news of a woman who drove her car down a ravine, survived but wasn’t found for seven days and thought ‘here’s a way I can fix it’. My favourite thing about Greta was that her whole family was there — parents, grandparents and siblings. When she won they all started crying and you could see how incredibly proud they were.

kids inventions
“Greta Cummins, who won years 3-4, amazed me, not just because her idea was so good but also the way she presented it.” Image: Supplied.

The winner of years 4-5, William Grame, was very practical. He is diabetic and he has to test his blood up to 10 times a day using little paper strips. He was always getting into trouble for leaving the bloody strips all over the house.

He came up with this idea of a little box that automatically takes the used strips inside once they have been used… but the incredible thing was, he didn’t just come up with the idea, he 3D printed it. I loved that he didn’t just do it one afternoon after school, he followed through on his school holidays and put the time in.

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kids inventions
“The incredible thing was, he didn’t just come up with the idea, he 3D printed it.” Image: Supplied.

Years 7-8 winner, Oscar Robert Mason, also had a practical life-saving invention for cars. His idea was to have a baby car seat with a weight pad, which would sense that there was a baby in the seat, then if the baby is left in the car and the temperature inside the car rises and the baby hasn’t been moved the car horn will sound and the air conditioning will switch on. Incredible.

kids inventions
Oscar’s idea was to have a baby car seat with a weight pad. Image: Supplied.

I loved being a judge in this competition for so many reasons, but mostly because it tapped into what makes kids unique. They see the world with these big open eyes and can come up with solutions to problems we adults don’t even think about.

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