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Bringing children's imagination to life

Little Inventors

location_on United Kingdom
Little Inventors offers fun challenges for kids to come up and draw invention ideas with no limits. Children who submit to the website receive personalised positive feedback and some even get to see their ideas turn into reality by Magnificent Makers across the world. By celebrating children's ideas, we encourage their creative confidence and give them real skills for the future.
 Imogen Heap - musician
Inventing is a key to unlock a child’s creativity which I have found fundamental to my well being in life. Here’s to Little Inventors for a make good feel good future!’

Imogen Heap - musician

Overview

HundrED shortlisted this innovation

HundrED has shortlisted this innovation to one of its innovation collections. The information on this page has been checked by HundrED.
Key figures

Innovation Overview

STUDENTS
Target Group
2 000 000
Children/Users
12
Countries
2016
Established
For-profit
Organisation
151
Views
Updated on September 6th, 2021
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about the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

This organisation evolved from the practice of internationally renowned artist Dominic Wilcox. We know that creativity and problem-solving are key skills now and for the future generations. But not enough of education offers opportunities to explore ideas freely, in a playful way that celebrates creativity.

How does your innovation work in practice?

Little Inventors provides resources that are child-centric and play-based but equally are easy for teachers to integrate in their curriculum teaching, by offering themed challenges that tackle societal issues, from conserving energy, life in space, or simply helping the community - fitting with subjects as wide as literacy, citizenship, science, arts and design and more.

All the resources are free at point of use, and funded through sponsors to enable wider access through an online platform.

How has it been spreading?

Little Inventors is present in 30 countries worldwide, with a reach of over 2 million children.
By offering regular challenges with very tangible outcomes, we have achieved incredible things. We have held the first art exhibition in the International Space Station, in collaboration with the Canadian Space Agency and NSERC, a Canadian governmental body promoting science. Some of the objects have been acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum for their permanent collection and more are on show in museums across the world. I also wrote three little inventors books commissioned by HarperCollins to continue to encourage creative confidence in children and their family.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

Parents, teachers, learning facilitators are all welcome to use the resources that are freely available online. Potential partners who might want to run a challenge can also get in touch with Little Inventors to develop their own offer.

Media

See this innovation in action

Little Inventors: Turning children's imagination into reality
When a simple drawing can truly lead to great things! Little Inventors started life in late 2015 under the project name INVENTORS! when artist and designer Dominic Wilcox went back to his hometown of Sunderland and challenged 450 school children to think up invention ideas. Out of these funny, practical, bonkers or ingenious ideas, 23 were made into real objects by local makers.The project in Sunderland caught the attention of curators at London's famous Victoria & Albert Museum. The V&A collects a broad range of visual arts and was drawn to the innovative nature of the project, bringing together the imagination and creativity of children with the skills and expertise of makers, under Dominic's inspirational leadership."We are delighted to acquire a selection of five of the inventions made as part of the first Little Inventors project in Sunderland. Dominic’s work and the selected pieces show the great potential of design to change the world and the importance of inspiration and imagination. The War Avoider and Family Scooter, as well as the three others, will join the Design, Architecture and Digital department’s collection of objects that tell stories about design and public life today." Corinna Gardner, Senior Curator of Design and Digital at the Victoria and Albert Museum.Dominic Wilcox will be in conversation with Corinna at the V&A on the 21st September, 2017 during the London Design Festival. For tickets please visit here.""This is such a great honour for everyone involved in the project, it was a fantastic collaborative effort between the brilliant children and the enthusiastic and skilful adult makers of Sunderland. Importantly it sends a powerful message to all children that their amazing imaginations can lead to great things. This great honour will inspire us to take Little Inventors to even more children around the world." Dominic Wilcox: artist, designer and Founder of Little Inventorshttps://youtu.be/JJU_Echi2tk
| Protect Our Oceans Exhibition
Between December 2019 and February 2021, The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), presented the Little Inventors challenge, Mission: Protect our oceans.The challenge was launched in partnership with the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO), in collaboration with Let’s Talk Science, The Canadian Science Fair Journal, Digital Mi’kmaq, OCAD University, and the support of multiple makers, artisans and animators. Take a look at our Partners section to see a full list of collaborators.The challenge encouraged Canadian youth to explore their own creativity and become the inventive thinkers of the future, giving them the freedom and inspiration to use their imaginations and their STEAM learnings to provide solutions to real-world problems.Mission: Protect our oceans asked children across Canada to become ocean inventors and submit an invention idea that could solve one of the many problems faced by our oceans or improve the oceans' health.From the hundreds of invention ideas submitted, 15 have been brought to life and are presented together here to celebrate this year’s launch of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.The 15 selected inventors showcased here have worked with a maker or artist to bring their invention idea to life.Other ingenious little inventors had the wonderful opportunity of seeing their ideas published in the Canadian Science Fair Journal. We also chose one invention a month to receive a copy of the Little Inventors Handbook.The challenge was supported with online tools, videos and resource packs for teachers, mini-challenges and drawing sheets for students to use at home and online talks by leading Canadian ocean experts. Take a look at Our Resources section.
A future as big as your imagination exhibition, closing ceremony : Little Inventors
SCB Honours 14 Young Innovators from 5 Countries. The Sixth edition of Sharjah Children Biennial celebrates 48 invention ideas from around the world.Nashwa Al Ghassani: 'Creativity is a must for societal development, and the basis for nurturing culture and knowledge'.Sharjah Children Biennial, the international cultural and artistic platform that celebrates children's creativity and imagination, honoured 14 children from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, UK, China and Ireland who, through their innovative and artistic mindsets won jury’s votes during the month-long event that concluded on March 20.A special honouring ceremony was organised for the children and attended by Nashwa Al Ghassani, Vice President of SCB; Aisha Ali Al Kaabi, Director of Sharjah Children, representatives of Biennale sponsors and in addition to young innovators and several media representatives.The honorees included 9-year-old Ahmad Rami Yehya, from the UAE, who was recognised for his invention ‘Smart Trolley’, and Noorelhuda Darweesh, 12, for a ‘Waist Umbrella’ invention. Meanwhile, ‘Fishing boat without a fisherman’ by 10-year-old Mohammed AlTonaiji was a winning invention, and 12-year-old Suhaila Shareef Saad was honoured for her ‘Miracle Chair’. The ‘Solar Spray Fan’ innovation won 10 year-old creator, Shama Mohammad Al Kaabi, an award. The ‘Tornado Skates’ invention by the UAE-based Taym Omar Ibrahim, 15, also won an award.From Saudi Arabia, Rayan Jalal, won for his ‘Box Invention’, while 8-year-old Alia Sultan Al Abdeli‘s invention ‘Agricultural scarecrow’ put her on the list of winners as well.
Welcome to Little Inventors Pioneers | Little Inventors Pioneers
Between September and November 2019, we invited young people aged 8-12 across The North East of England to take part in the Pioneers Energy challenge.From the many children who took part, 15 children inventors and their school from Tees Valley, Sunderland and Northumberland were chosen to join the Little Inventors Pioneers programme.Between January and June 2020 these Pioneers developed their idea further and worked with makers and experts to bring it to life!\https://pioneersgallery.littleinventors.org/
Inventing for space with NSERC and the Canadian Space Agency - truly out of this world!
The Inventing for space challenge invited children across Canada to imagine and draw invention ideas to help astronauts live better while in space. It offered school resources created with the support of the Canadian Space Agency and Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques, and focusing on everyday actions with the added challenge of microgravity! Think about it, how do you eat, sleep, play or exercise in space? It’s just not that easy when floating in space!Over 80,000 children were involved in the challenge, 3000 inventions ideas were received, 30 ideas were made into real things and two lucky overall winners were announced by CSA astronaut David Saint-Jacques, live from the International Space Station!See more here: https://nsercspace.littleinventors.org/https://youtu.be/Icuei2f2e2g
Little Inventors: Science Friday takes a look at Little Inventors
Little Inventors project takes children's ideas seriously and connects children with skilled local makers to make their great ideas into real things.

Milestones

Achievements & Awards

March 2021
Innovation page created on HundrED.org
September 2020
V&A acquires 5 children inventions
May 2020
Little Inventors Go Green book published
July 2019
Great Exhibition of the North 2018 - Main outreach education programme
October 2018
Little Inventors Handbook published
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