Past winners

Pressure Sensing Steering Wheel Cover

First Place
Second Place
Third Place
Year:
2017
Category:
Junior
Emily Mahon
Otumoetai College

To stop texting while driving, this steering wheel cover senses when there is not enough pressure and will beep until both hands are back safely on the wheel. Emily won $1,000 and the opportunity to further develop her idea further during her invaluabe work experience at Locus Research, Beca and TiDA.

The Video

From The innovator

The Innovator and their Idea

Hi my name is Emily Mahon from Otumoetai College and my innovation was The Pressurised Steering Wheel. I came up with my idea after my science teacher told us to look out for problems that can affect our daily lives. On the bus one day I was looking around at the cars around me and saw five drivers on their phones making calls, texting or on social media. At a stop light, the car in front of us didn’t move once the light turned green because they were distracted by their phones. If phones can distract people at stop lights, how much damage do they cause on the roads? I started thinking about what a solution to this problem could look like and my idea took off from there.

The Internship and the Future

​When I entered YiA, I didn’t think I’d make it to the shortlist so when I found out I won, I was shocked and just so excited for the internship! Along with $1000, I got to spend four days work experience at Locus, a day at Beca and two days at TiDA.

Overall, I had such an amazing time at all three of my internships and it was amazing to watch my idea grow with these creative and passionate people. I learnt so much about where innovation can take you in life and what the design process includes. The internship is going to hugely influence my high school experience and it was an experience that I will take with me in the future.

I entered the competition thinking that it was just about coming up with ideas and that it could never be a possible career path for me, but after seeing what these people do and get to experience every day, I understand what innovation actually involves and how it is such an important part of today's society as well as moving into the future. It was cool to watch experts take my idea and show me all the things I would need to do to actually bring my product to the market. It started off as a concept and throughout the internship we have done prototyping, sketching and printing.

I'm not sure where I will be heading in the future with my idea at the moment, I still need to contact Beca and I think I will be heading back there to do some more developing of my idea. Thank you so much to the team at YiA: I learnt so much and I had such an amazing and unforgettable time at my internships and it was so cool to be with such inspiring people all throughout this journey.

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