Bridgette’s invention wins her trip to NASA


Bridgette with her prize-winning designBridgette Veneris, Grade 3, St Joseph’s School, Chelsea, had a brilliant idea. While undergoing treatment for Leukaemia, she watched her mum (Sharon Armstrong who works at Catholic Education Melbourne) and nurses struggle with opening the many adhesive plasters (otherwise known as Band-Aids) she required.

‘I thought, if no-one is going to do something about it, then this problem is just going to go on forever,’ Bridgette said. So the 10-year-old invented an easy-to-use adhesive bandage dispenser she calls ‘Faster Aid’.

As part of her idea, the adhesive plasters would be a long roll similar to sticky tape, with perforated edges every 4cm, padding in the middle, and a protective plastic layer to keep them sterile. Users would simply pull the dispenser to the next perforated edge like sticky tape and tear off the adhesive plaster. The dispenser would close to keep them sterile.

She entered her invention in Origin’s littleBIGidea competition for young inventors in which it was judged along with 950 other entries for its originality, creativity, practicality and imagination.

The judging panel, including James O'Loghlin, host of the ABC's New Inventors and Dr Rob Bell, host of Network Ten's science show SCOPE, selected Bridgette's idea as the winner. ‘Bridgette’s idea is brilliant in its simplicity,’ said James O’Loghlin. ‘It makes a common task simpler, reduces waste, and solves a problem that many people have trying to open complex sanitised packaging when there is an immediate need for aid’.

Bridgette received the good news at school in front of her family and classmates. Her prize includes an innovation adventure to the USA featuring visits to NASA Kennedy Space Centre, Epcot Theme Park at Disneyworld and Ripley's Believe It or Not.

‘It makes me feel amazing, I never thought I could win the prize,’ said Bridgette. ‘Just going in the space shuttle, that would be amazing.’

After 18 months of chemotherapy, Bridgette’s proud parents have reflected on their brave daughter’s journey. ‘She's has been the most positive person, she is my hero,’ said her father. Sharon said, ‘I’m actually in awe of her because I don’t think I could be as tough as Bridgette’.

When asked about her invention Bridget said ‘I definitely do hope that it does change lives’.

Bridgette’s story has been featured on:
ABC news
Ten Eyewitness News
7News 

Watch the video presentation from Bridgette about her idea.