Koru Paua Tool - Measure your Paua without having to remove them.

South Otago High School pupil Mitchell Hollows (18), of Balclutha, was named winner of the supreme innovator award and the senior engineering award after inventing a laser tool he hoped would save the lives of thousands of native paua.

A keen fisherman, Mitchell has been diving for paua for a couple of years.

It was on a fishing trip that he discovered paua are haemophiliac and can be damaged by physical measuring - the traditional method of measuring catch.

This inspired him to develop the ''koru paua tool'', a laser that measures paua in a non-invasive way to help preserve paua fishing beds.

He hoped the tool would boost the paua population and help save the species.

Balmacewen Intermediate pupil Aaron Nelson (11) won the junior software award for creating a robot that can set the dinner table.

It is named Rats - Robotic Automatic Table-Setter - and it can set knives and forks for up to four people, as well as put the salt and pepper shakers out.

Aaron said he was less than enthusiastic when his parents asked him to set the table for dinner each night, and he was inspired to create the robot when his parents threatened him with ''no dinner until the table is set''.

He said it made the chore more interesting.

The Bright Sparks Awards is New Zealand's premier showcase for tech-savvy young minds, in categories which include science, engineering, environment, and software.

#recreationalfishing #paua #measuringtool #otago

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