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Bright spark...Bailey Lissington (18) has picked up a "best of the best" Environment Canterbury prize and is a finalist in the national Bright Sparks competition. PHOTO: CHRIS TOBIN

by Chris Tobin

From a young age, Bailey Lissington (18) has been fascinated by how things work.

That curious nature has led him to winning a prestigious science award.

The year 13 Timaru Boys’ High School has won the “The Wrybill,” the best of the best Environment Canterbury resource management award from science and technology fairs held throughout Canterbury.

“Science is my background and I’ve always asked questions,” he said.

“I got into electronics age of the age of 10 fiddling around with computers, taking them apart and building them.”

From asking questions, he has progressed to working on solving issues.

This has led him to produce his Smart Farm System which uses sensor modules to measure different variables around a farm.

The system helps farmers assess how to reduce soil leaching and freshwater usage by gauging temperature, pH levels, soil moisture, air temperature, air pressure and ultraviolet levels. It works by having sensor circuit boards attached to fence posts which connect to a central board that uploads to the internet.

“My system is quite electronically based.”

Last year he produced an automated water management system that could be used for a garden.

The system made the finals of the nationwide ASB Bright Sparks competition.

His Smart Farm System is a finalist in the same competition this year and the result should be known in the next few days.

Bailey said he would begin studying mechatronics engineering next year at the University of Canterbury.