A group of teenage Agribusiness students have been turning heads at the annual Fieldays at Mystery Creek, with an invention they hope to take to market.
'Bobble Trough' is a 24/7 automated trough float with a small submerged electrode, which releases small amounts of copper ions into the trough water, preventing the growth of algae and microorganisms.
Year 13 agribusiness students at Paul's Collegiate in Hamilton Jana Stokes, Cate Wilson, Pearl Lovell, Abby Bartels and Lucy Gray, are behind the invention, which was the winning entry in the school's innovation competition, the 'Crocodile Pit'.
As well as a cash prize, the teenagers won a spot at the Innovations section at the Fieldays event, vying for the title of Fieldays' 'Young Inventor of the Year'.
Jana Stokes said they hoped to continue working on their floating electro unit, with an aim to take it to market
"There's such a big step taking it to market, but through winning the innovator competition, we got the opportunity to come here, so we have the concept and we are just figuring out where to go from here with our idea," she said.
She said there had been a lot of interest in the invention at Fieldays.
"We are just trying to figure out and evaluate what is the next step for us."
Fellow inventor, Cate Wilson said the 'Bobble Trough' was unique.
"There's no idea or product that can clean troughs in this way," she said.
"There's a similar idea for pools but the mass of the object is much larger and ours is automated through an app that we have designed."
Meanwhile, Fieldays Commercial Manager Nick Dromgool - who was on the judging panel - said the innovations that came out of the college were outstanding, and would enhance the agri-sector.
He was also in no doubt that the student's invention would eventually hit the market.
"Fresh water for animals is one of the world's biggest problems, and this is a solution driven by solar power, with minimal consumables," he said.
In second place was 'Gate +', designed by Daniel Pearse, Sanraj Dhaliwal and Douwe de Boer. It is a custom-built gate for calf trailers preventing calves from escaping when being unloaded. The product attaches to the back of existing trailers and can be modified to fit.
Third place went to Teaghan Singh, Carlin Vollebregt and Mikayla McClennan, who devised an aluminium divider for a calf feeder. It works to train and assist calves while feeding on a calfateria, stopping them from coming in contact with each other and ensuring they receive the same amount of milk.
All three teams are exhibiting their inventions at Fieldays.