Inventing sets pupils up with relevant skills

High standard of inventions and two awards - situation normal for Limehills School pupils.

The school's pupils often enter the Southern Rural Life inventions competition at the Southern Field Days, and entries fit well with the school's curriculum, their principal says.

''We are a country school and learning is in real-life context as much as possible - farming and so on. They are creative kids and all often blow us away,'' Limehills School principal Jim Turrell said.

''It's about educating the whole child and not just worrying solely about test results.''

Four pupils had entries in the competition, which included ''The Best Butter Stick'', ''The True Safety Helmet'', ''The Multi-Tool Holder'', and microchip herd testing for cows.

Gareth Turnock (11) and his invention, The True Safety Helmet, took second place in the market prototype category, and Sam Clark's Best Butter Stick was awarded second place in the Kiwi Ingenuity category.

Creation and development of inventions was encouraged by the school, and once achieved, the pupils could try to take the next step and market their creations, Mr Turrell said.

Southern Rural Life editor Stu Oldham said the newspaper was proud to recognise the creative and ingenious efforts of those who entered.

''Many of the articles we publish each fortnight look to the future of farming practice - but often from the perspective of the adults that make things happen,'' Mr Oldham said.

''This edition, we're pleased to give prominence to the work of some of our youngest readers.

''Who knows, many may return to our pages as adults, using their enterprise to make a difference to our region.''

- by Leith Huffadine 


Sam Clark, 11, of Limehills School
Sam Clark, 11, of Limehills School
The Best Butter Stick

''The Best Butter Stick is like a glue stick but with butter on it, so if you are out tramping you can save space and use the space for other things.''

How did you come up with the Best Butter Stick? ''Well it would probably be because my Dad was to have toast once and he made a mess and did not clean it up, and I thought if we had the Best Butter Stick we would not have to clean up knives and the crumbs in the butter.''



Jack Pyle, 11, of Limehills School
Jack Pyle, 11, of Limehills School
Microchip herd-testing

''My invention is a microchip for cows. I was helping Dad during herd testing and having to climb up and down and by the end he had a sore back and also had misread a couple of numbers, and then our Nanny's new dog was getting microchipped so I thought about putting a microchip in cows.''

How is the microchip coming along? ''Have not finished the microchip yet but it will have to be made bigger and programmed to the cow's number and inside the cow's rump, and it will have branch forks so it does not move around.''

How does it work? ''All you have to do is scan the rump. It saves time and involves less risk of back injuries and every time will get the cow's number right.''

Are you going to go further with it? ''[I have] taken it to Vet South and they are interested in it and [I am] planning on sending an email to LIC [Livestock Improvement Corporation] and if everything goes to plan ... hopefully they will be interested.''

Gareth Turnock, 11, of Limehills School
Gareth Turnock, 11, of Limehills School
The True Safety Helmet

'My Mum and Dad used to say to the workers to put their helmet on all the time and I decided to make a solution, so I made a helmet which has a sensor in it. The sensor goes on to the motorbike, and then if you put your head on the sensor the power will go on, and the motorbike will start, but if it is not on your head it will not start. I made it because there are 850 motorbike injuries per year and five die from accidents, so this can help prevent brain damage.''

Did it take you long to create the True Safety Helmet? ''It took me three weeks to do it. I thought about it for one week and planned and then got the pieces and put it together. I made a part with a fan to demonstrate it working.''

Further plans for Gareth's True Safety Helmet included developing Bluetooth for the sensor, so the wire connecting the helmet to the bike did not get in the way of the user.

Ryan Taylor, 12, of Limehills School
Ryan Taylor, 12, of Limehills School
The Multi-tool Holder

''It holds sizes 32 to 10 spanners. It's for anyone who has problems with losing tools. You can put it on your shed wall with the brackets or cart it around on the back of your truck.''

How did you come up with it? ''It was that time of the year when we had to come up with inventions, and I came up with it in the last few days. I went into Dad's shed and he had plastic spanner holders and all the spanners had fallen out so I decided to make a better holder. [It] Lasts for longer and is way stronger and also portable.''

How did you construct it? ''It took about three days to build. It was difficult to get the right size holes to get the spanners to fit. [I] Had to go through spanners and measure the ends of them and put a mark around the pipe so the openings were even when cutting holes.''


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