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Waker-Upper triumphs as innovation project rewards young inventors

Date 21 Nov 2007
Author The Editor

A machine that keeps you awake even when you are bored or tired was named yesterday as the winner in the biggest ever project to encourage innovation amongst primary school children.

The Waker-Upper 3000 was designed by nine and ten-year-old pupils at East Allington Primary School, south Devon, and is the national winner of the 2007 Cracking Ideas project.

Oscar winning animator Nick Park, whose creations Wallace & Gromit front the initiative which has gone in to all UK primary schools, picked the Waker-Upper 3000 as the winning invention.Year Five children and teachers around the UK have been logging on to and following lesson plans linked with the National Curriculum which are designed to encourage innovation.

The competition within the project, which is run by the UK Intellectual Property Office, encouraged pupils to come up with a design to solve an everyday problem.

Innovation Minister Lord Triesman was joined at the final by celebrated British inventors Trevor Baylis, who came up with the wind-up radio, and Mandy Haberman, creator of the Anywayup Cup, as well as a life-sized Wallace & Gromit.

The Waker-Upper uses a mallet, headphones, a jet of water and eyelid openers to keep people awake during boring activities such as homework. Among the other finalists was a machine for walking dogs, an invention to deal with pollution and a window and bathroom cleaner.

Nick Park said the Waker-Upper triumphed because it helped with a problem which every child faced."There was a fantastic range of entries showing how innovative children can be. The children at East Allington came up with an unforgettable solution in a creative way which made use of a wide variety of materials."

Lord Triesman said: "Thousands of lesson plans have been downloaded by teachers. It means that children are learning about innovation from a young age. We are encouraging an innovation culture in the UK and Cracking Ideas is a great way to start this process."

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