These Teens Have Got Tech Talent! Check out these cool ideas from New Brunswick high school students (three of ’em are gonna win $5,000!)

Written by Lisa Hrabluk

Best-selling author. Award-winning journalist. Purpose-led entrepreneur. Find me hanging out where culture, people and ideas collide.

May 14, 2014

Fifteen New Brunswick high school students. Eight ideas. $15,000 in prizes. It all comes together on Friday May 16th at the Student Superpower Challenge pitch day, being held at Planet Hatch in Fredericton.

Launched by T4G as part of February’s Big Data Congress II, and supported by Brilliant Labs (with a little help from Wicked Ideas), the Challenge encouraged high school students to come up with cool ideas that use technology to solve problems they see and experience.

Three creative student teams, or individuals, will win one of three $5,000 prizes and mentor support to help them develop their idea into a working prototype.

These are the eight finalist teams and their ideas.

Solar Heating for Homes – Mitchell Cooke, Ryan Downey, Andrew White and Tyler Hicks (Caledonia Regional High School)

Calling it ‘realistic environmentalism, this quartet is ready to build a solar heat prototype out of everyday materials that could help save homeowners up to $100/month on their heating bill. Local residents have volunteered their homes to test the product once its built.

“$100 savings a month makes a real difference to all New Brunswick citizens, from the richest to the homes most in need. We must explore solutions that provide relief to citizens in the area of heating solutions. At this point, it is our duty to try and help. Our device takes advantage of a source that will not run out in our lifetime and the source is free (unless someone figures out how to charge people for sunlight).

Lost Fishermen Search Tool – Rylee Foster (Campobello Island Consolidated School)

Rylee wants to create a small tracking device that fishermen could wear and which, when they fall overboard, members of their crew can immediately begin to track them from the boat. Currently technology uses satellites and relays coordinates to search and rescue teams.

“Over the years I’ve watched more families grieve and suffer over the loss of a loved fisherman lost at sea than I can count on my own two hands. It’s not only the families that suffer either; our islands are so small, we are like one big family, and if we lose someone, we all feel the same heartache and pain as the families do.”

Clique Fashion App – Cassidy Allan and Nicoletta Gallagher (Fredericton High School)

Cassidy and Nicoletta Gallagher want to launch an interactive clothing swap-and-shop app that will connect and build a community amongst people who love to buy and sell previously-loved clothing and accessories. It’s inspired by a Facebook group that had over 3,000 Fredericton area users before it shut down.

“We know that students do not have a lot of money to shop, but by connecting them with each other, they can benefit their wallets, their style, and the environment…Clique is the future of thrift shopping; a unique and easy way to refresh and recycle your wardrobe, so don’t don’t trash it cash it!

The Cup Phone Project – Andre Lafrance and Grace Moreno (Fredericton High School)

Andre and Grace want to tackle the very big problem of racism with this social enterprise idea. Using social media, they want to connect people with others around the world in a sort of pen pal relationship for the digital age. The catch is there wouldn’t be video at first, just audio.

“With this application we hope to show people that it is important that we do not judge a book by its cover. We hope that we are this program will increase people’s awareness of judgement. It is a win-win situation for everyone! With this program we hope to begin breaking down the walls of prejudice using the power of technology.”

Paw-Print – Dustyn Forbes and Colton Scott (Hampton High School)

Dustyn and Colton are tired of chasing after Dustyn’s dog and they figure a lot of other people have the same problem. So they want to launch Paw-Print, an app that will help people locate their pets when they run off.

“The paw print will (hopefully) prevent these early morning runs, and help keep both you and your pets safe!”Check out their video pitch here.

Locker Bay – Caleb Lane (Hampton High School)

Caleb has developed a working prototype Locker Bay, a mobile device charger that clips to the inside of a locker. It also has an audio jack and speakers to amplify music. It’s battery-powered and can be customized to fit various tight spaces.

“When students or workers mobile devices are running low on power they need a place safe and accessible place to leave it to charge. For this there are three options: it could be left in a vehicle to leaving your vehicle more likely to be broken into, you could find an outlet to use but you’d have to stay there with your phone, or you could have it charge under the security of someone’s office risking having it locked in. However if they had it charging in their locker with the Locker Bay it would be secure and easily accessible.”

Car Unlocking Mobile App – Mark Whittaker and Mark Hall (Harbour View High School)

Mark wants to develop his plans for a code reader that could connect with smartphones via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to enable people to unlock their vehicle doors remotely. It could be expanded to include other data including servicing reminders, gas levels and travel information.

“We came up with this idea while sitting in a Tim Horton’s. We were thinking about the times that I had locked my keys in my car. it inconvenienced not just myself. but him, one of my father’s friends, and the friendly folk on Douglas Avenue. It took us three hours, and damaged the seals on my front passenger door, to get it open, and all of that could have been avoided if such a device existed. In our eyes, if it prevents all of this inconvenience to people everywhere, we’ve succeeded.”

School Needs! platform – Sophie Leonard (Rothesay High School)

Sophie is creating a web platform to help connect schools to people in their community who want to help either through donations, volunteer work or expert advice on the things students and teachers need. She’s starting at Rothesay High, with plans to expand across New Brunswick and beyond. Check out the site here.

“There are many benefits to students and teachers by having the community more involved in our schools. Outside people bring fresh ideas, access to information that we might not have in our schools, and funds that may not be available…My goal is to make students learning more fun, interactive, and educational by getting the community more involved in what we are doing. A more engaged community learning experience benefits everyone.”




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