Orders stream in for Young Enterprise students’ emergency power generator

26 Aug 2011 | YOUNG PEOPLE

Earlier this month six students from St Thomas of Canterbury College in Christchurch were joined by former Prime Minister Helen Clark to launch their ‘Lion Emergency Power Generator’. Since then, the product has sold out at Mitre 10 and yesterday a national organisation ordered one for each of its offices around the country.

The project was part of the Lion Foundation’s Young Enterprise Scheme, which the College has been involved in for around 10 years. Participation is voluntary and profits and any prize money is donated back to the community.

The students responsible for this latest venture are Sam Mackwell, James Agnew, Sean Feast, Craig Stanton, Stephen Pilton and Andrew Coburn, from years 11 – 13.

Their creation is a sustainable heat transfer device which works by generating electricity from waste heat. It powers lights, radios and cell phones.

The idea came about after the group gathered following the September earthquake in Christchurch to discuss their shared vision of making a difference for earthquake victims.

With the help of former teacher David Ivory and College old boys Keith Yardley and Andrew Dallas, the students designed, developed, manufactured and marketed the generator. This involved developing sustainable business partnerships with Mitre 10, Kathmandu and DHL.

They also wanted to create a product which would assist the global community, and sent one of their generators, along with a solar panel, to a village in Arusha, Tanzania. They made contact with the local school through the Christian Brother network and made arrangements with the school’s principal, Brother Clement, to have the generator delivered. Brother Clement recently sent photos to the Young Enterprise group of some of the school students setting up the solar panel in the village.

Year 12 St Thomas of Canterbury student Craig Stanton said, “From a simple vision of making a difference to two communities, our own and a global community, we six school students have made a difference. We have assisted our neighbours and also a community in Tanzania 13 000 km away”.