Year 13 Agribusiness students claim Fieldays inventor prize

A team of Agribusiness students from St Paul’s Collegiate School in Hamilton have taken out the ‘Young Inventor of the Year’ prize at Fieldays 2017, pocketing $1000 for their efforts.

Year 13 students George Dyer, Robert Morbey, James Mitchell and William Eyre developed ‘De-Fence’, a simple but effective tool for removing old gate-latch staples from posts. The device saves time, money and physical stress with the ease of removing the staple.

The group of young innovators developed the product in one of their Agribusiness classes at St Paul’s and exhibited it in the Innovation Centre at Fieldays in June.

Two other St Pauls’ groups also exhibited at the Fieldays Innovation Awards. One team designed ‘Ride Safe’, a quad bike helmet that does not allow the vehicle to start without the helmet being secured, while another designed ‘Flash Inc.’, an LED strobe light fitted under a tractor bonnet to deter birds from nesting in the engine. 

St Pauls pioneering new Agribusiness course

St Pauls Collegiate is leading the way in the development and delivery of an Agribusiness programme for students in Years 12 and 13. Their programme is designed to fill gaps in existing agriscience and agricommerce areas and was created by St Paul’s, DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb New Zealand and 11 other agricultural business partners.

Being driven by the sector itself ensures the St Pauls Collegiate Agribusiness programmes are relevant and relate strongly to adding value to products beyond the farm gate. The programmes set students up for further study in globally important fields like agriculture, horticulture and related areas of study or work. Students at St Pauls get that the world will always need to eat.

MORE: The St Pauls Agribusiness programme explained

The goal of the programme is to inspire secondary school students to consider a career in the primary sector. It’s proving very popular with students (even Merit and Excellence students) and plans are to roll it out to selected other schools around the country.

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