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Create an invention that transforms using movement

By Claire Ward Thornton, Art Educator

Take the Maker Challenge set by designer-maker Claire Ward Thornton, look at movement, create an automata and be inspired by amazing nature to help you design your own ingenious transforming invention.

Claire is a visual artist based in London who spends a lot of time making art with children in schools and families in public spaces through her organisation Art Hoppers.


Download the full set of activities to get started on this maker challenge.

Activity 1

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Think about things that transform in the animal world

The animal world has lots of amazing natural transformers, see what you can find out and write and draw them to use as inspiration for your invention

Activity 2

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Explore what creates transformation in your home

Take a look around your home for things that make change through turning or up and down movement. Think of machines like a blender or a fan or something like a broom that you move yourself?

Activity 4

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Fun with materials and movement

Explore how materials work on your automata to create change when it's in motion

Invention sheet

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Tell us about your transforming invention

We'd love to see your inventions that transform using movement, don't forget to send them to us with a photo of your automata, you could win a Little Inventors book!

How to enter!

You can submit more than one invention idea.

Submit invention ideas through our upload page.

  1. Draw your inventionon the Claire Ward Thornton challenge: Activity 1
  2. Scan or photograph the *whole* sheetas straight on as possible
  3. Upload it in JPEG, PNG or GIF format (choose a file)

Each invention idea will comprise of an image of a clear drawing, the name, age and location of the inventor, the name of the invention and a description, and a contact email address.

Examples of scanned images

Not so good