What makes a good inventor?

Fran looks at what makes a good inventor and meets boys who show their inventions.

Fran, a scientist and inventor, shows the viewer a range of everyday inventions. These are shown in the context of what an inventor actually does, highlighting that brilliant inventions are all around us. Fran details the places where inventors do their inventing and the tools that they use. Fran then meets some inspirational inventors, who are all different ages, in a bid to find out the skills required to become an inventor. The clip focuses on the inventions of Sam and Ben, who demonstrate an ingenious outdoor invention for gardeners and a very special ‘wakey-uppy thing’! The clip highlights how important fun and play are in creating inventions, as well as the skills you need to develop to become a good inventor: creativity, curiosity and determination.

Teacher Notes

Before watching the clip, students could write or discuss the skills they think are needed to be an inventor. After watching the clip they could discuss whether or not they agreed with the skills described. Students could write an advert looking for a particular inventor, describing the skills needed and why, making a link into literacy skills. Alternatively students could look at their own skills and describe why they think they would make a good inventor. This clip could be used within a ‘skills-based’ series of lessons where students, in small collaborative groups or pairs, could be set the challenge of finding an everyday problem which needs to be solved. This could be within the context of the school setting, such as finding a solution to a problem in the school garden (as Sam and Ben did), or to other problems they may notice within school or home. In the following lessons, students could be guided in an independent exploration of a range of resources which could be used to solve their problem. Students could go through a design process using simple or more complex tools as detailed in the clip, testing and improving their product as they go along.