Home' The Mt Barker Courier : The Courier - 2015-09-30 Contents www.courier.net.au
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 – PAGE 7
By Lisa Pahl
A simple cap created by a Hills student
that tells the wearer when they are
nearing an obstacle could transform life
for the visually impaired.
Macclesfield teenager Maeve Allen-Horvat
hopes her walking aid invention will make
it safer for those who cannot see to enjoy life
And it caught the eye of judges in the annual
Oliphant Science Awards earlier this month,
picking up a first prize and the UniSA HP
prize for the most outstanding computer
programming and robotics entry.
The hat alerts its wearer, via a series of
quickening beeps, when they approach an
obstacle at head height, such as a branch.
It fills a gap left by the white cane often used
by visually impaired people, which only detects
obstacles at ground level.
Maeve said she was stunned that such an
invention didn’t already exist and was excited
to create something that could improve others’
“I like trying to improve everyday life for
people,” she said.
“I have always wanted to try to change the
world for the better and to fix things for people.”
The Year 7 Scotch College student used her
knowledge of ultrasonics, or high-frequency
sound waves, to develop a device that could be
fitted to a cap.
Maeve took a prototype of her invention to
the Royal Society for the Blind, which provided
“A man who had been totally blind since birth
also tried it on and gave me a few ideas on how
to improve it, so now I have made two designs,”
The 13-year-old is still refining the design,
with a plan to make the device smaller so it
can be sewn into the hat.
She plans to patent her invention in the hope
that one day it will be commercialised and
made readily available to people with a vision
Maeve’s love of science and problem solving
also helped her secure two more accolades
in the competition, which aims to encourage
students across SA to embrace science.
She designed a device that could be used by
school students to measure the speed of sound
using temperature and humidity sensors.
It attracted the praise of judges, who said it
should be adopted by schools as a teaching tool.
The experiment also won her a third prize and
second place in the Department for Education
and Child Development’s young scientist
award for students in Reception to Year 7.
Year 7 Scotch College
student Maeve Allen-
Horvat won recognition
in the recent Oliphant
Science Awards with
her design for a cap
that senses obstacles for
its visually impaired
Cap for sight impaired a winner
A petition calling for the speed limit
through Bridgewater to be lowered from
60km/h to 50km/h has been presented to
the Adelaide Hills Council.
Instigated by local resident Lainie Anderson,
the petition was signed by 376 signatories and
follows an incident in August in which a car hit
two children walking on the footpath along Mt
Barker Road opposite the local hotel.
The petition called on the council to advocate
on residents’ behalf with the Department
of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure
(DPTI) to change the speed limit on the State
It said the same road had 50km/h speed limits
through Aldgate and Stirling.
“We believe Bridgewater’s population (3470
people in 2011) should be safeguarded by a
more sensible speed limit,” the petition said.
In tabling the petition last week, elected
members heard that council staff were in
contact with DPTI representatives.
From page 1
Alexandrina Mayor Keith
Parkes said he was confident
campaign would help the
residents adjust to the changes
and reduce the amount of
waste headed for landfill.
“Education is the key, as with
anything it will take time for
everyone to fall in to the new
routine,” he said.
“Once people get used to how
it works and understand which
rubbish goes in which bin we
should be able to reduce our
general waste output.”
While the new pick-up
routine aims to encourage
households and businesses
to cut down on their waste
output, there will be special
consideration for large rubbish
A hardship policy will provide
large families, households
with special medical needs
and those which use nappies
with an additional general
waste bin free of charge.
Councillor Ben Brazzalotto
voted against the change, pre-
ferring a gradual introduction
to allow residents more time to
“I think it will be difficult
for a larger family like mine
at first but over the long
term there will definitely be
benefits,” he said.
“There is a high standard of
living across the Fleurieu and
a lot of residents have been
looking at what the metro
councils have been doing in
terms of fortnightly recycling
and expect a similar style of
raised concerns over the
smell especially during the
summer and Mr Parkes said
there would be an altered
routine during this time to
accommodate extra waste.
“The plan is to resume weekly
general waste pick-ups over
the hottest weeks in summer
and then return to fortnightly
collection,” he said.
Waste pick-up every two weeks
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