Digital Hub expo and awards night celebrates young inventors

An interactive game, an app for reporting blue bottle sightings and a dancing bear were among the many young inventors’ creations on show at the Peregian Digital Hub last night.

Noosa Council hosted the Inspire Expo and Young Inventor Awards for Youth Week to celebrate young talent.

Inventors between the ages of 8 and 20 were invited to submit their projects for the awards program, plus attend the Expo night to demonstrate how they work.

18-year-old Malo Wellbrock took out first prize in the 18-20 age group category with Smartpark, a system for monitoring parking availability.

“It is great to be recognised with this award – my passion is inventing hardware and software solutions for real-world problems and my aim is to do that as a career,” said Wellbrock.

15-year-old Brendan Lewis earned first prize in the 13-17 age group with his reusable bottle rocket, while 8-year-old Blake Telburn scooped top gong in the 8-12 age category with Beachspotter, a site for monitoring bluebottles and stingers.

Digital Hub Director Chris Boden said the judging panel – which included tech inventor and marketer Michael Carter and GravityFit General Manager, Kirsty Richardson – was impressed with the students’ skills.

“We were impressed with both the ideas and the level of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) skills used in these projects. It is very encouraging to see these young inventors bringing their own ideas to life and pursuing their passion,” Ms Richardson said.

Prizes include mentoring sessions and internships at the Digital Hub, where youngsters will learn hands-on skills from successful local digital entrepreneurs.

The Awards and Expo help recognise local young people’s achievements in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) related learning.

The Digital Hub and Noosa Library Service developed the awards program and expo for Youth Week, with the support of a $2000 State Government grant.

Mr Boden said inspiring and developing young talent was an important part of the Digital Hub’s role.

“We’re thrilled to host this program and we look forward to welcoming our young inventors back to the Hub to work with our local digital entrepreneurs and build on their winning skills,” he said.

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