Lots of imagination and a vision to help change the world were all these schoolkids needed to get their entry in to the Young Innovator Awards (YIA). It's a foot in the door and a step on the right path for what may be a career in science, business or innovation.

The finalists have been chosen and now the public have a chance to vote for who they think should win the People's Choice Award.

The ideas will be on display at Bayfair shopping centre for 10 days from next Monday, or you can watch them on YouTube and vote online. Just go to www.yia.co.nz/vote.

Watch out for the big yellow People's Choice Stamp designed by creative agency Woods.


Creative director Reuben Woods says the idea was to make a big impact. "The giant stamp brings to life the essence of what the Young Innovator Awards are achieving, by leaving your mark and creating tomorrow's innovators."

YIA project manager Stacey Jones says she wants to encourage as many people as possible to vote.

Innovations to help animals feature highly among the ideas and other concepts range from rescue equipment, sticky tape that changes colour at the end of the roll so it is easier to find, a mini Glad Wrap kit for first aid kits to treat burn victims, to a shoe dryer that looks like a hand dryer and dries shoes in seconds.

Entries in the People's Choice Award will be in to win $300 worth of Bayfair gift cards for the intermediate school team challenge and $600 for the secondary category.

The YIA programme is for Western Bay kids aged 9 to 18. They have to come up with an idea for an innovative product or service, which is judged by a panel of experts, including Apple global creative director Andrew McKechnie, Zespri innovation manager Carol Ward and Victoria University futurist Ross Stevens.

Last year's senior category winner Hannah Payne also won the overall prize with Handstands, a gel cushion which makes it easier to use crutches.

She has since gone on to study design at Massey University. Prizes include cash up to the value of $2000,aYIA internship and a science visit. Winners will be announced at an awards night on August 11.

* Go to http://yiaforum.co.nz
The finalists
Intermediate school team challenge
* Operation Sleep, Aquinas College: A machine to entertain the baby so it will be happy to go to sleep.

* Classroom Light, Katikati College: A machine that turns on a classroom light.

* Cat Napper, Mount Maunganui Intermediate: The Cat Napper Catcher 2.0 is a security system to protect cats from cat nappers.

* Cat Feeder, Omokoroa No 1 School: An automatic cat feeder so the owner doesn't have to get out of bed.

* Team Peachey Keen (Y9), Otumoetai College: Wireless sleep-tracking earphone with an alarm which also plays music.

* Sasha van Beek (Y10), Bethlehem College: Pet Partners app/website connecting people who would like to trial a pet.

* Team Goofy Goobers (Y10), Bethlehem College: Everydry quick shoe dryer to rapidly dry wet shoes.

* Sam Sheaff (Y10), Mount Maunganui College: Gelshel holder attaches to bikes to reduce rubbish from energy gels.

* Team Terminal (Y10), Mount Maunganui College: App teaches people how to learn basic computer coding skills.

* Grace Blissett (Y10), Otumoetai College: Reactive sticky tape which turns the end of the roll a different colour when cut.

* Ryan Gilbertson (Y9), Tauranga Boys' College: A collar that detects epileptic fits in dogs and cats to help reduce the severity and length of the fits.

* Daniel Corteza (Y12), Tauranga Boys' College: A drone that scans a disaster zone to help locate victims and send in help.

* Lydia Gilmour (Y13), Tauranga Girls' College: Swift Wrap is a compact Glad Wrap dispenser for first aid kits for treatment of burns.

* Team Beacon Enterprises (Y13), Aquinas College: Profound is a wearable device to help locate survivors after a disaster using radio frequencies.