How the idea for the polyMath came about?
"One day in class a student was taking a long time to draw a set of parallel lines when making a table for a graph. There was no need to be so particular but that was her nature. Some time later, out of school and in bed with a bout of flu, this student crossed my mind and I thought that it was a pity that there wasn't a stencil which would enable her to draw a set of evenly-spaced parallel lines quickly . It was obvious that the shape of this stencil would have to be a rectangular frame with cross bars. Then I wondered if anything else could be added. I could see immediately that a ruler could be on one of the outside edges and that a 180 degree protractor could be on the other three sides. I could also see that, with the aid of another straight edge, it could be used to draw a line parallel to a given line through a given point; as is usually done using two protractors.
It occurred to me that if it could be used as a compass it would be an all-in-one geometry set. I couldn't see how that would be possible and put it out of my mind. About ten minutes later, a eureka moment! Put in tiny holes and to draw a circle you would hold the instrument in position with a pencil in one hole and rotate it with another pencil in a second hole. Problem solved!"
Brigid went on to pitch her idea on Dragon's Den in Ireland.
Click on the video to view how she got on!