Solar has no limits for students

Young inventors: Niabie Squires and Connor Cheers with their solar-powered wheelie bin.
Young inventors: Niabie Squires and Connor Cheers with their solar-powered wheelie bin. Trevor Veale

THE power of the sun and great young minds have come together in a local challenge that might uncover the next best invention.

Year 7 and 8 science and technology students from Toormina High, Coffs Harbour High and John Paul College, have taken part in the 2010 Coffs Coast Young Inventors Solar Challenge.

Proving anything is possible, the entries ranged from a solar-powered straw hat fitted with a fan, to model boats and merry-go-rounds, and even a solar-powered oven.

Toormina High students Niabie Squires and Connor Cheers reckon they might be on to the next big thing – a solar wheelie bin that pushes itself down the driveway with the push of a button.

Liz Wilkins of North Coast Youth Career Connections said the challenge was all about tapping into the problem-solving skills and ideas of young students.

“These kids are our future and, as we are seeing now, solar power is the way of the future,” Ms Wilkins said.

“This challenge held here at the innovation centre has been designed to fit in with the Year 7 and 8 curriculums and is open to all high schools.”

Judging the entries yesterday were ABC New Inventors panellist Alison Page, 2009 New Inventors finalist Dr Paul Brockwell, and local Green Synergy business owner Mathew Parnell.

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