IN SELECT COMPANY: St James' Primary School student Kirby Wright is off to Melbourne as one of 12 finalists in Origin' Energy's littleBigIdea competition, with a trip to NASA's Kennedy Space Centre going to the winner.
IN SELECT COMPANY: St James' Primary School student Kirby Wright is off to Melbourne as one of 12 finalists in Origin' Energy's littleBigIdea competition, with a trip to NASA's Kennedy Space Centre going to the winner. Adam Hourigan

Meet Yamba's pocket rocket inventor

NINE-year-old Kirby Wright doesn't like the taste of his daily medication, but he loves Nutella.

So why not combine the two?

His idea - to create an edible chocolate slime that can be moulded around pills to mask the taste, or "Tablet Disguise" as he calls it - has been recognised as one of the best in the country.

And now, the slimy goo, made from condensed milk, Nutella and cornflour, could have him jetting all the way to NASA in the US.

Entered in Origin Energy's littleBIGidea competition, his design was one of 12 picked - from more than 3000 across the country - to progress to the next level.

Already awarded $1000 prizemoney, Kirby will head to Melbourne today for a design workshop. He will create a prototype of his idea as part of his pitch to be crowned one of Origin's littleBIGidea national winners and win a trip to NASA's Kennedy Space Centre.

Following the workshop, to be hosted by Origin and Engineers Without Borders Australia, all 12 students will make a final video pitch to the judging panel.

Origin littleBIGidea judge and Engineers Without Borders Australia volunteer Anna Cain said: "It's been inspiring to see all the positive ideas and inventions submitted, and it's exciting to think about how these little ideas could actually come to life and make an impact in the world."

As for Kirby, he says he's always liked science and really enjoys the experiments he has been doing in the classroom at St James' Primary School as part of its expanded STEM work.

Kirby will find out next month if he's taking off to America.



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