A 10-year-old Australian girl has won a trip to NASA after inventing an easy-to-use bandage dispenser while she was going through chemotherapy.
Bridgette Veneris from Melbourne won the littleBIGidea competition with her simple design for a system that makes it quicker and easier to unpeel sticky bandages and has been named Australia’s best young inventor.
“It makes me feel amazing. I never thought I could win the prize,” she told ABC News.
Veneris came up with the invention after being diagnosed with leukemia last year.
During her 18 months of chemotherapy, she saw nurses and her parents constantly struggle to unwrap adhesive bandages.
Instead of doing nothing, she decided to come up with a new, sterile system where the bandages roll out, like a high-tech sticky tape dispenser.
After experimenting with several designs, she came up with a prototype, which she displayed at the littleBIGidea competition.
“The casing can close completely to make sure no dirt gets in to the casing and it keeps the Band-Aids completely sterile,” said Veneris. “I thought, if no-one is going to do something about it, then this problem is just going to go on forever.”
Not only is the new invention easier to use and sterile, it’s also better for the environment, seeing as there’s less wasted tape.
As part of her prize, Veneris will go on a trip to NASA to tour the facilities and meet some of the engineers who work there.
Hopefully they inspire her to keep on inventing, because we desperately need new ways of looking at old problems in healthcare and science.