Chilton Saint James School students scoop ACC competition with gutter
A quintet of teenage Wellington entrepreneurs are "guttered" after winning $10,000 in a national design competition to raise awareness around fall prevention for ACC.
Picture courtesy Mark Coote
Chilton Saint James School, Lower Hutt, pupils Jemma Cromie, 16, Peita Tawhara, 17, Zarra Houpapa, 17, Stacee McLellan, 17, and Natasha Makan, 17, came up with a "shower gutter" which collects water from glass shower doors and funnels it back to stop hazardous floor drips.
Inspired by Zarra's dad complaining about water on the bathroom floor and Peita slipping over a few times, the girls came up with a mission statement "to stop the drips and save the slips".
They took out the schools section of ACC's Idea Nation competition, which attracted 600 entries from schools, universities, business people and families, who were asked to submit on the national problem of fall prevention.
The team - known as Guttered Enterprises - is keeping all commercially sensitive details under wraps, but will say that they are working with WelTec designers on prototypes to bring the shower gutter to market. Judges said their invention appealed because "it was unique and offered a realistic design solution to a known hazard - even in very modern bathrooms".
"If fitted in all suitable showers it would not require the user to do anything at all to control the hazard and therefore could be very effective."
Jemma said the invention was a response to alarming ACC statistics showing the bathroom was one of the most dangerous rooms inside the home with 11,000 people injured every year after slipping from a wet floor.
"We entered this competition because we aim to reduce that statistic, by helping to prevent accidents caused by this everyday hazard that people have - until now - just put with up."