STEM

Languages

Digital Competences

Literacy

Cultural awareness and expression

Entrepreneurship

Civic

Personal, social and learning
 


Introduction

Airplane, electric elevator, crank-pedal bicycle & telescopes drawings from 1871.
Airplane, electric elevator, crank-pedal bicycle & telescopes drawings from 1871.
Images by Jelena83/Getty Images, Photos.com, Hodag Media, portishead1. Collage created in Canva

Look around you for a moment and think about all the things that you use right now: from the alphabet that enables communication to the computer in front of you and from the chair that you are sitting on to the electricity that allows you to read these lines. These are all inventions and there is always one person –or more– behind each one of them!

Following a famous proverb “necessity is the mother of invention”, but is it always like that? This quest will help you clarify and enhance your knowledge regarding inventions, innovations and patents that move science, technology and humankind forward, changing the way of doing things (for better or even sometimes for worse).

As for the Inventors? You will have the chance to learn more about some brilliant minds, that you might never heard before, even if you use their inventions every day! Furthermore, you will have the chance to quiz yourself (and/or the others) on some of the most gifted people who used their knowledge, imagination, passion –or even their playful mood– to change the world.

Task

Photo by Vaeenma
Photo by Vaeenma
Getty Images via https://www.canva.com

From ancient stone tools to the most recent digital advances, innumerable inventions have shaped civilizations and transformed humankind into what it is today. As a young journalist or filmmaker, you are asked to conduct research on the subject and focus on some of the inventions that are vital to our everyday life, yet most people know very little about their origins. You will test your knowledge with fun quizzes and you can even create your own quiz for your audience!

Process

First, we encourage you to visit the resources section and read the “Inventions and Patents” document, that throws light on critical terms, such as “invention”, “discovery”, “patent”, and “intellectual property”. The online material and videos (available in multiple languages) will provide you with some more in-depth information about famous inventions and their creative inventors.

We also encourage you to visit the World Intellectual Property Organization’s website and check the PATENTSCOPE database! Why not search about patents from your country? In the “Directory of Intellectual Property Offices”, you will also find the website of your country’s relevant Authority.

Among the resources there is an online science quiz. After testing your knowledge, it’s the perfect time to ask yourself “what makes an invention ‘great’?” and read the relevant document uploaded in the resources. There you can also find a second quiz, that we hope to inspire you create your own quiz, using the proposed tools. You can create a quiz focusing on inventors of your country or on women inventors or any other idea that you might come up with. We would love you to challenge us to “play and learn”, like you did! You can contact us either via e-mail or via Facebook (@virtual.spitfire).

 

Conclusion

We have grown so used to so many things, that we often don’t even think of them as inventions. This quest will help you expand your knowledge about the things that surround us, facilitating our daily life and also appreciate and get inspired by the people who have worked hard to create them – even if it is difficult to know all the names! In addition, as it turns out, innovation and transformative ideas can be found not only wherever people have challenges to face and problems to solve, but also wherever people are having the most fun!

Evaluation

Learning Outcomes

  • Learners will define key concepts and reflect on the history of particular inventions that we all use every day.

Knowledge acquired

  • Learners enhance their knowledge about patenting new products and explain the role of intellectual property in innovation.

Skills acquired

  • Participants strengthen their ability to identify and realise opportunities for personal, social or commercial value through technology and inventions.

Competences acquired

  • Learners identify a range of reasons that motivate people to invent.