Tech & Science Victorian student off to NASA after winning littleBIGidea invention prize for wheelchair hoist

00:41  14 november  2017
00:41  14 november  2017 Source:   ABC News

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Melbourne primary school student Amelia Fox edges out more than 1,000 other kids in an invention competition and will soon be heading on a trip to the world's most famous space agency.

Amelia, who goes to Brunswick North Primary School, will soon be jetting off to NASA ’s headquarters after winning a national invention prize for her idea of a portable wheelchair hoist . Entrants to Origin Energy’s littleBIGidea competition had to come up with a way to help people with disabilities or

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You probably weren't packing your bags for a trip to the world's most famous space agency, NASA.

But you're not Amelia Fox.

Amelia, who goes to Brunswick North Primary School, will soon be jetting off to NASA's headquarters after winning a national invention prize for her idea of a portable wheelchair hoist.

Entrants to Origin Energy's littleBIGidea competition had to come up with a way to help people with disabilities or combat pollution and waste.

Lifting the bar

Amelia edged out more than 1,000 other kids with her idea.

The fabric hoist is incorporated into the wheelchair's seat cushion which can be wrapped up and attached to hooks, allowing for easy lifting.

Amelia was inspired to invent the hoist after watching her parents struggling to lift her 40kg brother, Jake, out of his wheelchair after surgery.

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Eight-year-old Melbourne student Amelia Fox has won Origin’s littleBIGidea competition for inventing a ‘portable wheelchair hoist ’. “It felt really good [to win ] and I was definitely not expecting it.” As part of her prize , Amelia has won a trip to NASA in the US.

"My brother was getting heavier," she said. "Before he had the metal plates put in his leg, he was a lot lighter.

"A few days after the metal plate were put in, Mum and Dad were struggling because the metal plates were quite heavy.

"I'm pretty sure it works really well."

Amelia Fox, 8, invented a hoist to help her parents lift her brother Jake out of his wheelchair. © Provided by ABC News Amelia Fox, 8, invented a hoist to help her parents lift her brother Jake out of his wheelchair. While she is excited to go to NASA, her eye is firmly on the prize.

"I'm a little more excited about having lunch with an astronaut," she said.

Amelia topped the Year 3 and 4 category, and is one of three national winners.

Fellow inventor and head judge Dr Jordan Nguyen said her invention was a clever solution to what could be a trying problem for carers.

"What Amelia came up with was simple and beautiful," he said.

"People in wheelchairs need to be lifted all the time. I mean, it happens every day that nurses, carers, families will lift people out of a wheelchair and this causes, quite often, it causes injuries.

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