Design and Technology KS2: What is an invention?

Sometimes inventing things is not necessarily about coming up with a completely new idea.

It can also be about improving or adapting an existing design.

Fran Scott speaks to young inventors of a teacup-style bathroom plug and a shark-skin swimsuit about how they developed their ideas.

This clip is from the series You Too Can Be an Absolute Genius.

Teacher Notes

Students could be given a challenge which incorporates the idea of improving an existing product.

Pictures of various different objects and animals could be drawn onto cards and mixed together into a deck.

The cards could be placed face down and students could take it in turn to choose two at random.

They could then create a new idea for a product which incorporates both of the images shown on the cards. For example, ‘a wheelbarrow’ and ‘a brush’ may be picked, so the invention could be ‘a wheelbarrow which brushes leaves as you push it’.

Challenge students to think of their own inventions which build on an existing idea, and draw up plans.

They could undertake ‘market research’ by pitching their idea to other students, explaining why it would be useful and revising their ideas accordingly.

Curriculum Notes

This clip is suitable for teaching Design & Technology at KS2 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and 2nd level in Scotland. Appears in AQA/OCR/EDEXCEL/CCEA/WJEC/SQA.

More from You Too Can Be an Absolute Genius:

Developing ideas for inventions
Inspiration for inventions
Testing inventions
The importance of persistence when inventing
What is an inventor like?
What makes a good inventor?