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Little Inventors Napier X Dalry Primary

Edinburgh, UK January 2024 - May 2024

Little Inventors Napier X Dalry Primary is a project lead by three Edinburgh Napier University students; Katie, Eve and Sourav. It aimed to inspire children from Dalry Primary School about the world of Design and invention.

Week 1- Introduction to Little inventors!

This session started out with a presentation from the little inventors leader, Lottie Smith. The presentation explained the whole idea of little inventors and what the project entailed. It also had some examples of children's inventions and videos of manufacturers making them come to life!

After this, the 1st years were given a project for the rest of the day. The project was to take a child's idea from the little inventors website and make it come to life, via cardboard modeling. It was important that the 1st years made the cardboard model resemble their chosen child's idea as much as possible. During this, they also learned new cardboard techniques which would've helped them along the way.

As they did this, we went round the tables and introduced ourselves as the 3rd years. We answered any questions they had about the upcoming project! Everyone seemed to be excited about this project.

Before leaving today's session we introduced them to the themes we would be exploring in this project. These were, The Ocean, The Sky and On Earth. We split them up into these themes so we could get stuck in on our first lesson with them!


First Lesson with Dalry Primary School!

To begin with we did a quick presentation explaining what little inventors was as well as show them what we did (as first years) when we did the project. Everyone looked excited to start, so we kept it brief. Once we did our presentation, we got the teachers to split the children up into 3 groups, this meant that we all had a group and theme each. Although we all went into separate rooms, we followed a plan we made together earlier on in that week!

To start with, we all had a discussion about what problems we face currently (in our theme) and how we could invent something to help us protect our planet in the future. The children had a good understanding of what we could invent! We got started immediately!

We got the children to make characters that could use their inventions! this made it more personal to them! The children let their imagination run wild! Some of the characters we got were, Minnie Mouse, The Statue of Liberty, Pets and much more! we had lots!

We then got the children to start inventing! They were very eager to start, so we handed out paper and they got stuck in with drawing, scribbling and colouring in. The children came up with crazy inventions such as a scooter that turned rubbish into electricity! a robot that stored rain water for hot sunny days to water plants, we saw it all!

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Second Lesson with Dalry Primary School!

We began by going over with them the schedule of activities for today with us. They completed their final inventions on the given Little Inventors sheet before the class began. However, we had them practice on blank paper before they sketched their final ideas to make sure they were comfortable moving on to the official Little Inventor Sheet!

We gave them the mini-task of creating a wild life profile once they had finished their inventions. They had to sketch non-pet animals from the group themes for this project. They were all so very excited to make their on animals!

We provided the teachers with self-evaluation forms for the children to complete before we left. Such as draw themselves and what they learned as inventors!


Dalry School trip to Napier University

We brought the kids we have been working with on a tour of our University. We visited the workshop around the Merchiston campus. The kids got to learn about different manufacturing methods, tools, and machinery we have on campus.

They visited the wood workshop were shown different machinery like the band saw, table saw, and CNC machine, and learned how they were used and got to see what you could make from them. In the printing lab, they saw the 3D printers, CNC machines, and laser cutters. They learned to difference between CNC and 3D printing. In the metal works lab, they learned about the different materials used and got a demonstration of how a CNC machine works. In the plastics lab, they learned how plastic bottle caps can be recycled into pellets for the injection molding machine, they got to watch a demonstration of how injection molding works.

All the kids enjoyed watching all the demonstrations and can’t wait for their inventions to be brought to life.

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First Lesson with the First Years!

Today was the first session making the children's inventions come to life!

The first years were eager to start! we wanted them to really think about how they could make this invention come to life!

They started off by sketching how it could look from different views and angles, this is an important step as it allows them to visualise how it could look when made! it also gets them thinking about how different parts of it could be made. Once they did that, they began to start modelling, we only have 3 weeks so we have to keep the ball rolling!

The first years imagination was endless, they had many thoughts about how they could make it look like the drawing. we heard conversations about what materials they'd use and how they could add a little extra to make it really stand out at the exhibition. The first years were so excited to see how the p3/4 classes would react to their work!


Second Lesson with the 1st Years!

This week the first year students had to have had 50% of their models finished and their posters finished.

We had them finish their posters for the second session so they could receive feedback to make changes in time for the submission the following week.

We went around our individual groups and gave the first year’s feedback and advise with the inventions they have been modelling. It was very interesting to see the different approaches to the different inventions everyone had chosen. We were very excited to see the final results!


Last Lesson with the 1st Years!

This was our last day with the 1st year students, where they handed in their inventions.

They started off the lesson by putting the finishing touches on their models, so they are ready for the upcoming exhibition. They also started uploading their blogs to the Little Inventor website.

The first years have worked hard in their groups these past 3 weeks, with planning and organising among their teams to bring the kids' inventions to life. They have paid close attention to all the details the kids included in their inventions to create the most realistic models and creative posters, we are looking forward to the kids' reaction at our exhibition on April 22nd.


Exhibition at Dalry Primary School

Today was the day the 1st years displayed the inventions they brought to life!

The 1st years were very excited to meet the primary school children! so they arrived early to set up their station where the models would sit. After setting up, the children who made the designs came in to learn about how the 1st years made them! then they became the ones to tell the rest of the school about their designs.

Each class from the school (P1-P7) came to visit the exhibition and everyone was very pleased! The school decided that they were going to keep the models and display them, then let the children take them home as they were so impressed.

The children had lots of dun throughout this project! and said they would do it again.

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