Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Young inventors challenge

A group of young inventors from Leeds will have the chance to meet one of the world’s best at a special event this week.*http://newsfeed.leedsvirtualnewsroom.co.uk/2009/12/bright-sparks-given-chance-to-meet.html*

Staff from Leeds PATLIB have been working with a group of local school children with the idea of giving them an insight into what patenting is all about. Over the course of a school term twelve year nine children from Horsforth Secondary School have been finding out about IP and taken through the process that many inventors go through.

Working in pairs the children came up with some ideas of their own which they felt would be useful inventions. Through five interactive (and very lively!) workshops they then learned about the World of Inventions (an intro to IP); Patent Searching; Applying for (or how to write) a Patent; Choosing a Name (trade marks); and Market Research.

Most of the sessions were delivered by Leeds PatLib staff although in one session we also enlisted the help of a “real” inventor to try to give a flavour of what it’s really like.

Trying to come up with something which doesn’t add to existing schoolwork for the kids is a bit tricky but the result has been a file produced by each of them on what they have done in each session. We are also about to file patent applications on the six inventions.

In a few weeks time we will be having the final session at which each pair have been asked to do a short presentation on their inventions and what they have done. Their work will be on show and there will be a small invited audience of parents, teachers and library staff. Also there will be our star guest – multiple award-winning local inventor Emily Cummins who will also be handing out prizes to the best team of junior inventors.

They’ll be judged on their contribution to the sessions, their files and their presentations as well as the inventions themselves. They will all actually get something - the challenge has been supported through Europe Direct Leeds.

They’re a great bunch of kids – very quick and enthusiastic. It’s certainly been an experience and an awful lot of work – but well-worth doing.

Ged Doonan


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