Teens' big ideas make final cut

Teens want robots, youth space, sculptures

NICOLE MATHEWSON
Last updated 09:07 11/12/2012
Big Idea finalists
DEAN KOZANIC/Fairfax NZ

YOUNG AND BRIGHT: Grace Lethbridge, 15, left, Judy Yun, 12, and Harry Loughnan, 17, were last night named as the three finalists in the CPIT Foundation's Big Ideas contest.

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Christchurch's central city could soon be home to a robotics centre, a cultural youth space or a set of art sculptures that help power the city.

The ideas were last night named as the three finalists in the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT) Foundation's Big Ideas competition.

More than 700 ideas were entered into the competition, which asked for ways to transform the southeast corner of the city into a vibrant place for young people.

Cobham Intermediate pupil Judy Yun, 12, wanted to see a creative area for young artists to display their work or perform on a free stage. A youth market and food from international cultures would also be on offer at the site, she said.

Seventeen-year-old Harry Loughnan, who has just finished his last year at Linwood College, said Christchurch needed a robotics centre, where people could learn and play with robotic technology and ''have a nerdy good time''.

Unlimited pupil Grace Lethbridge, 15, wanted to ask Christchurch artists to design several large sculptures that incorporated solar panels in the design.

The panels would generate power that could be used to power parts of the central city.

CPIT Foundation chairman Carl Pascoe said the ideas of young people in Christchurch needed to be taken seriously.

''The city needs its young people and we're losing them, and if we're not careful we'll lose more.''

Only one idea would win, but Pascoe said he hoped the competition would help get more than one idea off the ground.

The three finalists will now work with the CPIT Foundation to develop a project plan and the winning idea will be chosen in January.

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- The Press

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