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Sophie wins Vector Design the Future Competition

Year 8 student Sophie Wood, 11, has won her age group section of the Vector Design the Future Competition alongside friend Amelia Floyd, 11, from Churchill Park School

The competition, run by Vector and Auckland Council, called for entrants to imagine a smart energy future and design a way to power it. Sophie and Amelia’s video entry featured a cargo shop powered by solar panels, lightning rods and wind power.

“This was because a cargo ship is big enough to carry the large batteries needed and strong enough to hold a windmill, and the alternative energy sources would be efficient for transportation,” Sophie explained.

With all entries assessed by judges Dr Michelle Dickinson, Mayor Phil Goff, and Simon Mackenzie, based on creativity, usefulness and smart energy, Sophie said the competition was a great way to tie science and art together – using creativity to think up ideas that could be backed up by science to make them a reality.

As part of their prize, the inventors met engineers from Vector’s New Technology team where they had the opportunity to talk through their ideas with the experts and discover how they could be developed in real life

“I discovered that engineers look at things differently – even though we had a windmill for wind power, they showed us how we could make that more effective by using a design that would work in winds of different directions. They also showed us that you can never have too many sources of energy and talked about adding hydro power to our design.”

As a winner, Sophie will now attend the VIP launch of Vector Lights on Auckland Harbour Bridge on 27 January to switch on the light show.