Top spots at Maryborough Innovation Awards for St Mary’s

St Mary's College, Maryborough

​St Mary's College students Ava Smith and Skyla Birch at the Telstra Innovation Awards with mayor George Seymour​

UNIQUE ideas and concepts conceived by students at St Mary's College, Maryborough, have scored a first and second place at the annual Mayor's Telstra Innovation Awards.

Year 7 students, Skyla Birch and Ava Smith innovative concept 'Lost Dawgz' earned them top spot and an all-expenses paid trip to Sydney to check out Telstra's Innovation Lab.

Meanwhile, Emily Elford, Victoria Heggie and Jozephyne Kruger's 'Tank Float' idea took second place at the awards, which were created to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in the region's young people.

The competition was open to all high schools in the Fraser Coast region and entrants had to find an issue or problem in the local area and create an innovative solution to solve it.

Entrants had to find a target market for their idea, get feedback on them and validate whether their idea was viable or whether they needed to pivot.

Four teams from St Mary's College made it through to the final phase where they had to live pitch their idea in three minutes, to five judges and an audience of more than 60 people.

Skyla and Ava's idea for Lost Dawgz came from an incident when they were chased by a dog who had escaped from its back yard.

Their concept involved a prototype App that could track a dog's location if it escaped or got lost.

Pet dogs wear the bone shaped device on their collar which connected to the app on the owner's phone.

The device alerts owners when their dog breaches set boundaries and the owners can then use the app to live track their dog, send them voice commands (for the more obedient dogs) and even take a wide shot photo of where the dog was at that time.

The pair were stunned to learn their concept had won especially as they were up against teams from Years 11 and 12.

Telstra community engagement manager Scott Mullaly, who helped judge the awards, said he was impressed by the student's unique and cost-effective product. 

He said what really stood out for him was the way they refined and developed their idea through the three phases of the competition.

Mr Mullaly said the students could look forward to an interesting trip to the Telstra Innovation Lab in Sydney where they will meet some senior executives and get some advice around their winning idea.

All four St Mary's College teams worked hard with the college coordinators Kirsty Patterson and Jason Menard on their ideas since February.

The delighted coordinators said the four teams did a fantastic job and represented the college wonderfully.

Emily, Victoria and Jozephyne's Tank Float worked by putting a float inside a water tank to alert the owner of the level of water through LED lights on the side of the tank as well as via an app.

From the app the owner can check the water level at any given time, customise alerts and featured a list of local water suppliers to contact. 

'Farmers Connect' was an idea by Faith Kernke and Ebony McIntyre created to help the well-being of farmers through an app that connected them to other farmers in the community, for help and support.

The app also included extra features such as tracking of cattle via an ear tag and programming a drone to survey the property.

Students Renoah Recinto, Olaedo Ibe and Felicia Page's interactive 'Rubot the Rubbish Robot' who can be taken to schools and parks to encourage users to put litter in the bin by congratulating through sounds and lights.

It also can be used in games at school where teams compete against each other to pick up the most rubbish.​​

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