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Student innovators’ winning idea

Suncoast Christian College school coordinator Adam King with students Alaya Page, Tayah Allison and Chloe Lever


Student innovators’ winning idea

The 2022 Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards have been handed out to local high schoolers. WORDS: Caitlin Zerafa and Adison Clarke.

A team of students has come up with a clever solution to prevent injuries from swooping magpies as part of a Sunshine Coast innovation challenge.

The all-female Suncoast Christian College team won the 2022 Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards for their Bird Bell idea.

The annual awards invite high school students from across the region to develop business ideas that use innovation or technology in a new way to solve a community, environmental or business challenge.

It has a particular focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, known as STEM subjects.

Tayah Allison, Chloe Lever and Alaya Page from Suncoast Christian College created the winning submission, a discreet bird deterrent that attaches to the handlebars of a bike.

It emits a high frequency, undetected by the human ear, to deter swopping birds and is an alternative to the common hack of attaching cable ties to a helmet.

The inspiration for the Bird Bell came to life from Chloe’s brother’s experience falling off his bike and injuring himself after being swooped by a magpie.

Tayah says originally the team looked at the concept of designing fashionable yet practical helmets.

“We soon discovered that birds are deterred with high frequencies, so we considered adding a device to helmets that would emit high-frequency waves.

“In the process of ideation, we considered impacts on health of having something buzzing near your ear.

“We then planned towards the device not being attached to helmets but attaching the model to the handlebars of bikes.”

Alaya says the team now hopes to undertake further research to fine tune the device and present it to potential investors.

“We need to conduct further testing to validate our findings and look forward to conducting research in the season of spring when birds are most active.

“We seek investment by companies to see our idea come to market.”

As overall winners, the Suncoast Christian College students will receive an exclusive ‘money can’t buy’ mentoring experience – a first for the awards.

The winners will work with Gary Swanepoel from the Start-up Precinct to join his new Young Starters Launch Program.

Three other teams have also been successful in their innovation designs, with Amy Morrison, Tyler Cuttill and Bethany Slocombe from Matthew Flinders Anglican College taking out second place for their Orbital Caddy concept.

This is a rotating shelf system designed for people with reduced movement or reach.

Grace Murray, Amitis Rezazadeh and Eleanor Dean from Chancellor State College came in third for their concept, Peas in Pods, which provides safe and compact modular-style houses for those in need of temporary accommodation.

The Emerging Entrepreneur Award went to Glasshouse Christian College student Jared Moss for a gamification app that educates and connects newly diagnosed youth with type 1 diabetes.

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