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Imagining our future energy landscape

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Wearable solar panels, harnessing the power of natural disasters and capturing energy from space could all be part of the world’s future energy mix if Tasmanian school children are right.

Hydro Tasmania invited Tasmania’s young people to imagine the future of energy, as part of the centenary celebrations of the business. The Schools Future Thinking competition asked students in years 5-10 to consider how we might source and use energy 100 years from now, and explain it in 100 words or less.

“We received more than 70 entries from all corners of the State, offering incredibly imaginative and thought-provoking solutions to securing our future energy supply,” said Steve Davy, Hydro Tasmania’s Chief Executive Officer.

“The entries highlighted the wide array of approaches that may be part of the mix for our future energy generation.

“Young Tasmanians imagine that future energy sources may include hydro, wind, solar, vibrations, waste, photon exchange, energy from space, energy from nature, lightning and harnessing greenhouse gases.”

Mr Davy noted that while some of the ideas may take many decades to figure out, in some cases there is already exploratory work going on in some countries that could lead to practical application in the near future.

Individual and school prizes have been awarded in three categories, Grades 5-6, Grades 7-8 and Grades 9-10. The entries were reviewed by an internal Hydro Tasmania judging panel of engineers, scientists and educators against the criteria of presentation, innovation, and being solution-oriented.

Chair of the judging panel Dr Helen Locher said the judges were impressed by the imagination young people drew on in presenting their solutions.

“Imagination is a skill we can lose as we age, but it’s important to remember that the future 100 years from now will undoubtedly have elements we don’t even think about now,” said Dr Locher.

“100 years ago, people might have dismissed a lot of things that we accept as normal today. These entries remind us that we have to be careful not to overly limit our ideas of what might be possible in securing our energy future.

Dr Locher said a large proportion of entries noted that people will need to change the way they think about energy supply and use.

“Impressively, some entries offered solutions to multiple issues, such as generating energy while improving physical fitness or eliminating pollutants.”

“We believe that Tasmania is a part of the world that can be very conducive to fostering creativity, inspiration and innovative thinking. We are motivated by these students to find further ways to tap into this and encourage it. Innovation plays a big part in success.”

Winners in each category were presented with their individual and school prizes this morning at Hydro Tasmania’s headquarters in Hobart.

The winning students receive a framed certificate and a $150 gift certificate to Dick Smith Electronics. The schools of the winning students receive an energy efficiency audit and recommendations, equivalent in value to at least $4000.

The winning entries, along with honourable mentions for each category, will be on display in the foyer of Hydro Tasmania’s head office. Winning entries and honourable mentions can be viewed here.

 

List of winners and honourable mentions

Grades 5-6

Winner:

  • Nan Yu Peacock-Jones, Albuera Street Primary School

Honourable Mentions:

  • Fletcher Carlton, Albuera Street Primary School
  • Ruby Bradburn, Albuera Street Primary School
  • Jordan May Shephard, Launceston Preparatory School
  • Kathy Wei, Albuera Street Primary School

 

Grades 7-8

Winner:

  • Keeley Hine-Haycock, St. Mary’s College

Honourable Mentions:

  • Saffron McKinnon, Ogilvie High School
  • Bridget Haydon, St. Mary’s College
  • Mia-Bella Shotter, Ogilvie High School
  • Isobel Kuo, St. Mary’s College

 

Grades 9-10

Winner:

  • Jarrah Hanssen, Tarremah Steiner School

Honourable Mentions:

  • Joshua Rowlands, Tasmanian eSchool
  • Freya Cox, The Friends’ School
  • Finn Clarke, Tarremah Steiner School

 

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Released by Samantha Meyer, 03 6230 5746