Bright ideas fill young heads

By Christine Allen

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TAKING CARE OF BIZ: Teamorangi Simeon (left), Stephen Curac, 17, and Alex Thorne, 17, of Whangarei Boys' High, with Whangarei Girls' High students Tahlia Rogers-Brown, 16, Kiel Boyd, 17.PHOTOS/MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM
TAKING CARE OF BIZ: Teamorangi Simeon (left), Stephen Curac, 17, and Alex Thorne, 17, of Whangarei Boys' High, with Whangarei Girls' High students Tahlia Rogers-Brown, 16, Kiel Boyd, 17.PHOTOS/MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM

They're Northland's bright business minds of tomorrow and they lined the Canopy Bridge in Whangarei on Saturday with ideas and potential.

Participants in the YES Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme Trade Fair were bubbling with enthusiasm about their products.

Grayson Javins will never forget the day his little brother was hit by a car in Paihia.

The 3-year-old's months of rehabilitation inspired Grayson to invent a child safety device.

Grayson, 16, from Kerikeri High School, and Samantha Still, 16, invented Stick With Me - a sticky pad which costs just $25 but could save lives.

He said he and his family had been leaving their parked car when Grayson's brother ran for it and was hit by a passing car.

"He spent months in Starship in Auckland. It was awful. Thankfully, he's okay now but it remained with me and I thought we could do something to stop it happening to someone else."

With colour-changing technology, the pad sticks to the car's exterior, on the footpath side, and distracts runaway toddlers so they stay put.

The product was showcased on Saturday alongside 20 others from around Northland as eight schools took part.

The event, sponsored by Top Energy, also had a competitive element and three judges from NorthTec checking out the companies.

The TraC app was created by Callum Paterson, 16, Susannah Colbatz, 16, and Sean Richards, 17, of Kerikeri High, and won first place. It helps students track their university-entry credits and watch their goals on their mobile devices. The app is still being developed.

Kerikeri company Ecovado came second, thanks to Jessica Prak-Khin, 14, and Ally Standing, 15, developing a hand-made soap from avocado by-products. The soap is made by Whangarei's JustSoap.

Through their Kerikeri links to Kenyan company Olivado, the pair give 20 per cent of profits to buy backpacks of stationery for the children of Olivado staff.

Melissa Chapman, 17, Madison Moa, 15, and Nikki Chapman, 16, from Kerikeri High, developed an app to help teens cope with and manage depression.

Free, which took third place as well as the "Customer Choice" award, is an app which provides a journal function, exercise tips and advice on how to cope with tricky social situations.

Nikki said teens often found it hard to talk about depression.

Another company with a conscience was Inferno Events , which brought a little planning light to not-for-profit groups struggling to promote their events.

Ezekial Raui, 17, Quinn Moffat, 16, and Skye Stedman, 16, from Taipa Area School, formed the company to help improve the community and had branched out to music concerts, Ezekial said.

When it came to finding something to do in Whangarei, Whangarei Girls' High duo - Kiel Boyd, 17, and Paige Neho, 17 - were at a loss.

So, they developed Local Me Up, an app that lists activities.

Kiel said her top three Whangarei activities were walking tracks at Abbey Caves, Manaia and the Hihiaua peninsula.

A little luxury was on the minds of Okaihau College students Taylor Adkin, 17, Haeleigh McGee, 17, and Sarah Leahy, 17, and, eager to help bring about soft skin, they developed their own moisturiser.

"The macadamia body lotion is made from all New Zealand products, from the lotion itself in our own kitchen to the labels and bottles," said Taylor.

The lotion was able to be purchased through the Damia Facebook page for $20, she said.

The stylish trio of Cuff Kings Whangarei Boys' High students - Alex Thorne, 17, Stephen Curac, 17, and Teamorangi Simeon, 17 - have made trendy cuff links out of used bullet shells.

The boys manufacture the accessories and said they were confident the trend would take off. Northlanders were trendy and would like their product, they said.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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