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BHS Headz up Innovation Awards

The final presentations for the Mayor's Telstra Innovation Awards took place on 14 June with the Hard Headz team from BHS taking home first prize.

Bundaberg State High School (BHS) teams took home both first and second prizes at the 2023 Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards (MTIA) presentation at the Bundaberg Multiplex on 14 June.

The Hard Headz team was awarded first prize for their helmet design aimed at tackling the unsafe use of e-scooters and e-bikes.

Their idea was a two-factor safety lock using an infrared sensor and helmet clips to stop or slow down the transport unless the helmet was worn.

The team was awarded $3,000 in further mentoring as part of their prize package which also included three drones, three Bluetooth speakers and trophies created by MAKI Space.

Second place went to Never Forget, also from BHS, with third place awarded to Eco Monitors from St Luke’s Anglican School.

The Hard Headz team consisted of BHS Year 11 students Cadence Taylor and Aida Peterson and Year 12 student Nicole Seesink.

Cadence said after taking part in the awards last year with an app idea, this time they wanted to create a product that would be socially beneficial to the Bundaberg Region.

“We identified that there was a big issue in Bundaberg, everyone knows it and everyone sees it, people misusing e-scooters,” she said.

“We did a survey around the school and collected data which found that the biggest issue was people not wearing their helmet.

“So we made a little prototype out of a micro:bit that we attached to the helmet and did a little demo on that.

“Using infrared technology it will sense that it's on your head and then you'll have to clip up the helmet as well, that's the second safety factor that we've replicated with the alligator clips attached to the micro:bit.

“Then it will chime saying you’re ready to go, you’re all safe.”

Nicole said that she enjoyed taking part in the MTIA process again and said the team had made a big commitment to complete their project.

“You have to do a lot of extra stuff on top of your school work and because I was in Year 12 it fell right in my assessment time,” she explained.

“Luckily my team helped cover me for those times where I just had too much on.”

Cadence Taylor, Nicole Seesink and Aida Peterson present their award-winning idea for a e-transport safety helmet at the MTIA final presentations.

The team is eager to make use of the mentoring support they won as part of the award and work out how to carry their idea forward.

“We would love to see it implemented with companies like Neuron which is international so it could get pretty wide scale,” Cadence said.

Bundaberg State High School Science Department Head Dan O’Brien said he was proud of both teams for doing so well and full credit went to the students involved.

“It’s the sort of thing you target at a select group because those students have to go above and beyond and make the commitment because it is a large commitment in time,” Dan said.

“In terms of my enjoyment it was being able to see the ideas start out in their infancy and then watch them start mapping those things out.

“In the early phase I would say ‘did you think of this or that?’ but I was very much hands off at the end, even right up to the point where I saw their final presentations and they had gone even further all of their own accord.”

Shining the light on bright ideas

The MTIA program aims to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship by helping students unlock problem-solving potential and take their big technology ideas to the next level.

Nine teams entered from schools around the region and received specialist and technical advice from local entrepreneurs and experts to assist in the development of their ideas.

Deputy Mayor Cr Bill Trevor attended the final awards presentation and congratulated all the students on their fantastic range of ideas.

“The teams have produced some amazing innovations,” he said.

“We’ve seen ideas including a helmet that targets safety for electric bike and scooter users, a watch to assist people with dementia and Alzheimer's and an in-school app based on teacher/student communication.

“I’m sure we will see many of them guiding our country towards a very bright and innovative future.”

Bundaberg Regional Council was proud to partner with Telstra, CQUniversity, TAFE Queensland, Community Lifestyle Support (CLS) MAKI SPACE, Queensland University of Technology, Queensland Computers, Regional Business HQ, Ulton and The Generator to deliver the 2023 MTIA.

For more information on the MTIA, click here.

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