Friday, June 02, 2006

TVNZ Show Format for Inventors a winner

The youngsters in New Zealand appear to be a brainy lot.

The ongoing competition run by Television New Zealand's TV2 program "Lets Get Inventin'" continues to discover new young Kiwi inventors with novel devices.

The New Zealand Patent Office has just awarded three more more patents to the TV program's young participants:

- for an in-car coffee machine; - a gadget that stops kids being scared of that horrible noise the bath makes when you let the water out; - and a Crayfish pot designed to stop people pinching your catch.

And, there may be more patents to come - the New Zealand Patents Office says another seven inventors may also qualify.

A TVNZ announcement said that the show's inventions can be seen at the Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) in Auckland, and as the series develops new inventions will be added to the exhibition.

Each week on the TV show, build-buddy Sam Britten, son of legendary New Zealand inventor John Britten, helps the young inventors to develop their ideas from concept through to a working prototype. Along the way kids can learn the basics of welding, electronics and metal fabrication, in fact anything needed to build their ideas. The kids then test their ideas out in the real world.

"Let's Get Inventin' is a great way for children to learn about science and technology in a fun and practical way. We are really pleased with the good response the programme has had from both parents and children," says TVNZ's Commissioner of Children's Programming, Annie Murray. Some 900 e-mails a week in the program office from kids complimenting the station on the TV show and the inspiration its gives.

At the end of the series viewers get to decide who the overall winner will be, with the lucky winner getting an all expenses paid trip for two to the UK where they will have their invention developed by New Zealand inventor Bill Martin at his famous ZEROSHIFT invention factory.

There is a dedicated web site http://www.younginventors.tv

[I think the BBC or Channel 4 should look at this project to boost the present low level of interest in Great Britain in the area of learning sciences and engineering.]

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