Little Inventors

Pioneers Energy Challenge!

Calling all children in the North East of England!

Can you think up invention ideas to generate energy, save energy or use energy better?

 Enter the challenge here!

Scientists all agree: we have to change how we live so we can take better care of our planet, and even possibly reverse the damage we have already done. The way we produce and use energy is the biggest reason for pollution on Earth. 

Little Inventors is launching a new free initiative, the Pioneers programme inviting young people aged 8-12 in the North East of England to take part in the Energy Challenge.

In addition, 15 young people across  Tees Valley, Sunderland and Northumberland will have their invention chosen to be made real. 

They will be invited with their teachers to take part in our new Pioneers programme, where they will work with the Little Inventors team, professional makers and designers to turn their invention from idea to reality, to be turned into an awesome exhibition in Tees Valley in summer 2020!

Why we are launching the Pioneers programme

Creativity and problem-solving are key skills for young people as they head into their future. We want to give 15 young people across Tees Valley, Sunderland and Northumberland a chance to develop their creative potential through an exciting programme that will benefit them, their peers and schools, with creativity CPD on offer for their teachers.

The lucky winners will be invited to take part in 3 events between January and June 2020 in inspiring venues (locations tbc within Tees Valley, Northumberland and Sunderland), with 2 follow-up sessions to be led by teachers in their schools.

If your students are not in these regions, don't worry, you can still take part: five lucky winners will have their invention drawings showcased at the exhibition and receive a signed copy of the Little Inventors Handbook.

The Pioneers programme events

1. Why ideas matter (End January 2020 - 4 hours): Meeting inspiring creativity speakers, our pioneers will share their ideas, where they came from and find out why creativity matters now and in the future, and how they can develop their ideas. This will be supported by a teacher-led follow-up school session on refining their idea and sharing what they have learned with their peers (support and resources provided).

2. From 2D to 3D (March 2020 - 4 hours): Meeting with professional makers, artists and designers, our pioneers will prototype their idea and learn about design thinking and materials. The makers will then take the ideas from prototypes to real objects, while young people at school will explore how to tell their story and present their invention and share with their peers in a follow-up school session.

3. Curating and exhibition! (June 2020 - 1 day): To celebrate the culmination of their work, the Pioneers will become curators of the Pioneers exhibition and will get to evaluate their journey, before a launch event with VIPs and press!

But it’s not just the students who stand to gain from this unique experience. Teachers are at the heart of shaping the future of young people, and with creativity and thinking skills never more in demand, we want to give them the tools for professional development to embed creativity in their teaching.

  • Creativity as a learned skill
  • Using invention to empower students
  • Developing concepts from ideation to realisation
Download the resource pack

With thanks to our partners

Our partners and supporters:

Arts Council England, Tees Valley Combined Authority, Museums Northumberland, Festival of Thrift, University of Sunderland, Northern Bridge Consortium, Tees Valley Museums, Northumberland County Council, Sunderland Culture, Culture Bridge, Digital Catapult North East Tees Valley, Thought Foundation, Tees Barrage International White Water Centre, Centre for Excellence in Creative Arts (CECA) Hartlepool, City of Dreams