Inventors mingle at Questacon

David CharlesworthHarvey-Waroona Reporter

Harvey’s Thomas Italiano was among a select few chosen to attend the 2018 National Questacon Invention Convention in Canberra last month.

Eight people from WA were among 25 who attended the event from January 15 to 19 hearing guest speakers in innovation and technology.

Thomas, 18, heard of the event after a science workshop in his final year at Hope Christian College in Roelands.

He applied, sending in his design for a pool elevator which used a mesh floor that could change the depth of a pool from diving to wading at will.

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“That’s where most of my inventions come over, just looking at stuff and seeing what we can use that is practical and easy to use and can improve stuff,” he said.

During the convention, the delegates each had to design and build a prototype of their own invention, using workshops, equipment and mentors over four days at the National Science and Technology Centre.

Thomas’ idea was for a drone deployed fire extinguisher payload, dropping a fire extinguishing ‘bomb’ into fires acting as a first responder.

Thomas said his design would fill a need in fighting fire in the future cities, meeting the challenge’s theme of ‘future Earth’.

Delegates also attended a networking event with the Canberra Innovation Network.

Thomas said his favourite part of the event was the atmosphere and mingling with fellow inventors.

“I thought it would be quite daunting but it was fine, it was almost like we were kind of friends because we were all in the similar situation at the same time,” he said.

“There were 25 ideas all being built and programmed in the same room which is an amazing experience to be in and soak up,” he said.

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