2020 marks the 10th anniversary of the world famous in the Western Bay Young Innovator Awards.
Since 2010, over 3000 students from across our 11 local secondary schools have entered their creative solutions to real world problems, developing their innovation skills to thrive in a rapidly changing world.
Page Macrae Engineering were instrumental in YiA’s inception. Ian Macrae wanted to reach students who were uninspired by the prescribed nature of regular school classes and provide them an opportunity to showcase their individuality and the skills valued by businesses, more commonly referred to as the 6 C’s: Character, Creativity, Citizenship, Collaboration, Communication and Critical Thinking. Fast forward 10 years and these skills are becoming an increasingly common component of our local schools’ approach to teaching and learning. Page Macrae, along with Robotics Plus, Bayfair and Beca Engineering have been YiA sponsors and supporters since the start.
Another local business that sees the immense value in YiA is Bluelab – YiA official partners, along with Woods Agency and Cucumber. Jono Jones, Chief Product & Innovation Manager, is in charge of YiA judging. “It’s exciting to witness the next generation of innovators coming through the schools and to play a role in guiding their development and enthusiasm. We’ve had some phenomenal entries over the years and the future for the region is bright if we can retain some of this talent in our WBOP businesses.” It’s incredible to have the support of all our local businesses involved with YiA.
Right now, judging for this year’s entries is concluding and we’ve been fortunate to have a slew of top local innovative talent to mark the students’ work. One of these who is new to the YiA fold is Peter Randrup, self-described “Ocean Gardener”, who works out of the University of Waikato’s Coastal Marine Field Station. Peter was blown away with the level of “hustle” demonstrated by this year’s students – the ability to pitch an idea, receive feedback, tweak, and return to the customer with an improved offering.
Be sure to follow YiA on social media to hear more from the likes of Peter. We’re always keen to hear from other local businesses wanting to support the competition too!