Haley's bright idea could see Taree student blast off to NASA

Bright idea: Haley Patel's thumbprint security wallet could become the next life-changing Australian invention. Photo: Lachlan Leeming

Bright idea: Haley Patel's thumbprint security wallet could become the next life-changing Australian invention. Photo: Lachlan Leeming

A Taree primary school student could potentially be blasting off to NASA after entering a national design competition. 

Haley Patel, a student at Taree’s St Joseph’s Primary School, has entered her thumbprint security wallet design into Origin Energy’s Little Big Idea competition. 

The competition aims to harness the creativity of Australian students with the top prize of a trip to NASA Cape Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.

The 12-year-old year six student doesn’t need to be asked twice to rattle off the various features of her design.

The wallet would contain a small thumb scanner pad which would be registered to the wallet’s owner. 

A small voice recognition speaker built into the wallet would double as an additional security measure, but could also be used to request a specific card.

The inspiration for Haley’s design came after she saw her father flicking through the cards in his wallet. 

“Dad took his wallet out and I saw him struggle to get through all his cards because he had so many,” Haley said. 

The wallet will also feature some fearsome defensive capabilities, such as capsicum spray that would jettison out at anyone trying to break into it, as well as a hidden taser. 

“It’s good if you’re scared of your wallet getting stolen,” Haley said. 

Haley drew and submitted the designs for the wallet with the help of her teacher Chris Steinmetz. 

Her favourite subjects are art and maths, although she does enjoy science with teacher Ms Hall, who “makes it fun”. 

Haley said a potential trip to the NASA research centre in Florida would be “exciting” and that she’d like to see where the rockets are launched from, and said it would have been exciting to meet people such as late astronaut, and the first person to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong.

Even if Haley isn’t successful in gaining the top prize of the innovation trip to Florida, there are a host of other incentives. 

The top four inventions in each age group will win a minimum of $1000 in prizes for their inventor and $500 for their school.

Entries for the competition close on Friday, September 30. 

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