In today’s world, there’s widespread use of the word ‘innovation’. It’s become a common term. A Google search will produce lots of definitions for innovation and lots of discussion about what it is.

So, how do we come to a common understanding of what innovation is? And how do we distinguish it from invention, as often innovation and invention are used interchangeably. One way is to create a list of characteristics that define invention and innovation and use these as criteria to assess a product. 

In an activity, we used the YikeBike as our example product. Using video clips and innovation key terms, students were asked to identify characteristics that define an invention and an innovation. The YikeBike was then assessed against these criteria, and students were asked to decide whether it’s an invention or an innovation.

This was an activity for developing understanding of the concept of innovation and how it differs from invention. The aim was for students to be able to apply this understanding when looking at or reading about items described as being innovations or inventions. This activity involved, thinking, reasoning and explaining and can be adapted to fit class ability or interests.

Google Slides based on their findings



This term we are learning about sustainability.  The children are currently learning:-
  • What is sustainability?
  • Why is it important?
We are also learning the four aspects of sustainability.  It is not just about environmental sustainability.  

The kids had to look at different types of energy (power).  In groups they each got electricity production cards. Using the card's information and using the decision making grid they had to rank energy generation options from the most to the least sustainable.  They had to take in consideration all four aspects of sustainability.  Not only was it a good group task, as each member of the group had a part to play but it allowed for good discussion and they had to share their findings and give reasons.



As part of our sustainability unit we decided to make a robot made of recycled products from around home and school.   We were not allowed to buy anything but rather use all cardboard, tins, plastic bottles etc that were ready to be recycled or thrown away.  

In small groups we first had to design our recyclobot.
- materials
- was the robot sturdy enough to hold soil and a plant/s?
- realistic design 

Once children designed their recyclobot they had to work out whether or not their design would work.  They had to arrange all their materials as per their design and make modifications if required.  

Children making their recyclobots!


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