KZ: Hi Cohen! How did you enter the Origin Little Big Idea competition?
C: With the proposition from my teacher, and my idea already locked in, the next step was to create a one minute video and send it to Origin. I used Flipa-clip to express my idea and was overjoyed when I was chosen as a finalist. However, the next step was a bit more challenging – a three minute video to expand and explain my concept in further detail. Before creating the video, we had to converse with our mentor, which was an excellent experience – not only because my mentor was the most extraordinary person I have ever met, but he also spoke my language. Putting my video together took a great deal of planning. There was a lot of science I needed to include for everyone to understand my concept, and include costing to ensure that I incorporated the business side of the invention. The rest was creative fun. I used my trusty drawing apps and green screen (purchased for fun during the lockdown), and edited my video until I captured everything. The whole process took a few weeks.
KZ: What inspired your idea?
C: My inspiration was definitely from my Year 6 science fair project, where I learned about bioluminescence and how living creatures use it to protect, adapt, and communicate. The experiment, I felt, was a success, I gained a great deal of knowledge and skills, and I pondered what would be the next step? Where and how can I further implement this concept? And who can benefit from it? Us, of course. With the rise of science and technology and how quickly we adapt to change, I thought, why not make the next leap from the lab to the public? Make it easy, accessible and affordable. With this in mind, I decided on my idea and pitched it to the judges.
Did you learn to use anything new?
C: The science side of things was all new to me. However, animation was the predominantly new medium for expressing my idea in this competition. It was a lot of hard work, rewarding and exciting to use. Keeping in line with the brief to ensure the video was only 3-minutes long was challenging. Being a novice, it took me longer to create the video, but it gave me an outlet to further enhance my drawing capabilities and convey my idea. In the end, I thought my video was engaging, informative and creative.
KZ: How did you feel when your project was chosen as the winner?
C: When I found out I was a finalist, I was shocked. I thought it was a long shot for me since it was my first time. I have never won anything like this before. A lot of questions and thoughts were inundating my mind. Why did they choose me? Who were the other finalists? What were their ideas like? Fast-forward a few weeks, a typical day at school became a life-changing experience. As soon as Dr Jordan Nguyen walked through our library’s doors, I immediately recognised him, and my heart raced. Could it be? Have I done it? When he called my name, I was ecstatic. I didn’t know what to say, do or comprehend what I was feeling. I was overwhelmed and still cannot believe what I have accomplished. I was the last one to find that I had won my category. It was a great surprise to have all my teachers, principal, and parents there to congratulate me.
KZ: What would you say to K-Zoners who aren’t sure whether to participate in the Origin Little Big Idea competition?
C: My advice for deciding on your idea is to choose a topic that interests you and are passionate about. It makes it so much easier. For instance, my Biolume was a combination of my interest in science and construction and driven by a passion for contributing to making the world a better place. Find a problem and create a solution.
Want to read more of our interview with Cohen? Grab the June 2022 'Worlds Collide' issue, out now!