Canberra Primary School Inventors Challenge

At the start of November, myself and Lorraine went to Canberra Primary School in East Kilbride to run the very fun filled but educational Inventors Challenge event. We were given a very warm welcome to the school from the teachers and we were greatly supported by 5 volunteers from Job Centre Plus.Working with primaries 5, 6 and 7 we set out our stall early in the morning. The day started with the children being given a short briefing session which included asking them if they knew any Scottish Inventors (which they did) and then advising them that they would be Inventors for the day. The Pupils were split into 8 teams of 9 or 10 and allocated into two classrooms with a large breakout area to obtain their resources and later to present their invention to our Dragons' Den. They were first asked to choose a name for their team, assign two resource managers to obtain their materials and to appoint a team leader and time keeper.As always with so many kids in one place it can be a challenge trying to get their attention so we used a very simple but effective solution to overcome this. When I shouted 'attention on deck” the kids responded with 'aye, aye captain”. A fun way to get the kids attention.The teams then took on the role of either John Logie Baird or Alexander Graham Bell with the task of creating either a futuristic TV or telephone. Their objective was to be as creative and inventive as possible whilst at the same time, demonstrating successful team work and presentation skills. Once they had their materials, they were given until lunchtime to make a prototype, poster and create an advert and jingle.After lunch it was time for the kids to showcase their talent and hard work to our volunteers who formed the 'Dragon’s Den'. Each team had to present their invention, poster, advert and jingle to the panel and then answer some gruelling questions to compete for the prize. Every team did an excellent job, presenting confidently and responding to every question fired at them. The volunteers also did a sterling job as judges. The winning team was’ 'Sensation’; they created a phone that produced all sorts of food items including 'goat ice-cream’ for anyone who has an adventurous palette and could 'fly’ to any height required by the user! The kids absolutely loved the event and really rose to the challenge – they were enthusiastic, creative and at the same time, extremely polite and well behaved – a real credit to the school. The teachers and volunteers also gave excellent feedback saying it had been a great day and one that everyone had thoroughly enjoyed.

- Craig


Helen Robinson - I enjoyed the enthusiasm of the children, it was great to see them working together so well. I think the Inventors Challenge programme is important because it is a fun and informative way of consolidating learning - just like a work situation!

Heather Quammie - I wanted to get involved because it was something completely different from my day to day work. I enjoy working with children and thought this would be a great experience. I enjoyed working with the children and seeing their ideas take shape; their enthusiasm is infectious!

Elayne Graham - I think the programme is important as it encourages children to work together, think differently and it allows them to realise their potential and what they are capable of. I think YES is a fantastic organisation.

Gail Crawford - I thought the day sounded like it would be great fun. I enjoyed watching the children nurture and develop their ideas and bring it all together for the final presentation. Seeing them cooperate and compromise to produce their invention teaches many valuable lessons to the children and encourages creativity. It shows them how to work as a team and encourages healthy competition. YES are different because they allow the children to take the lead in the activities.

A huge thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers. If you are interested in getting involved with YES as a volunteer please email

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About YES

Our Vision is for Scotland to be a place where all young people are given the opportunity to have a rewarding future in work and life - no matter where they start
their journey.

Our Mission is to inspire & equip all young people to learn, develop and reach their full potential through enterprise.

In everything that we do, we will work with the following values: Integrity, Enthusiasm, Creativity & Collaboration.

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Rouken Glen Centre
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G46 7UG
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