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Reviewed 30 November 2008

Cracking Idea, Gromit! Kids toast success for innovation

Bright-spark school kids who designed a machine to put wacky flavours into tea have toasted success in a competition to find inventors of the future.

The device named 'The Wonderful Wacky Mansion' was designed by Year Five pupils at West Park Primary School in Wolverhampton and has been chosen as the Midlands winner of the 2008 Cracking Ideas competition.

Cracking Ideas is the biggest Government backed project of its kind and uses a combination of specific lesson plans, teaching resources and a dedicated website -www.crackingideas.com External Link- to encourage innovation among Key Stage Two pupils as part of the National Curriculum.

The competition has been judged by the UK Intellectual Property Office which rated 'The Wonderful Wacky Mansion' among the best inventions nationwide, and it will now battle it out with six other schools from around the country for the national title judged by Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park.

The pupils from West Park Primary School came up with a teapot design which allows the tea drinker to create any flavour imaginable. Fashioned for use in settings such as the Mad Hatter’s tea party in Alice in Wonderland you can add any ingredients you like to flavour the tea. It even has a handy gauge to display the temperature!

The Cracking Ideas project was developed by the UK Intellectual Property Office which encourages innovation and is responsible for intellectual property rights.

Among West Park Primary School’s prizes is a laptop, board games signed by Nick Park and a selection of DVDs and other goodies. If they are successful in the national competition they will be presented with an original bespoke trophy made by the model making department at Aardman Animations and a preview screening of the new Wallace and Gromit short film 'A Matter of Loaf and Death'.

Jo Dickinson, the class teacher of the winning pupils at West Park Primary School, said the youngsters had put huge effort into the competition:

"The children worked so hard on the project and really enjoyed the whole process. I am really impressed with the initiative and how it managed to draw out the creative instinct in the children whilst still keeping a strong educational element to the process."

Minister of State for Higher Education and Intellectual Property David Lammy said:

"This competition is all about encouraging young people to translate their imagination into reality. Britain has a wonderful tradition of creativity - and we want to nurture the next generation of inventors. This is a fine example of what youngsters can do when they get their chance."

More information on Cracking Ideas can be found at www.crackingideas.com External Link

Notes to editors

  • For more information, pictures and interviews, contact Nick Mason or Jo Bishop at Mason Media on 0151 239 5050 or 07961 791 469, email jo@masonmedia.co.uk
  • The names of the pupils who designed ‘The Wonderful Wacky Mansion’ are Karina Budginaite, Priya Rani, Zeba Yousaf and Sana Malik.
  • Cracking Ideas is the biggest Government-backed project of its kind and uses a combination of specific lesson plans, teaching resources and a dedicated website -www.crackingideas.com External Link- to encourage innovation among Key Stage Two pupils as part of the National Curriculum.
  • The project was developed by the UK Intellectual Property Office who formulate and implement domestic IP legislation. Policy responsibilities include patents, trade marks, designs and copyright. More information is available at www.ipo.gov.uk
  • Aardman, based in Bristol (UK) co-founded and run by Peter Lord and David Sproxton, is a world leader in animation. It produces feature films, television series and television commercials for both the domestic and international market. Their multi-award winning productions are novel, entertaining, brilliantly characterised and full of charm that reflects the unique talent, energy and personal commitment of the very special people who make up the Aardman team. The studio’s work is often imitated and yet the company continues to lead the field producing a rare brand of visually stunning and amusing independent and commercials productions.
Date of release: 13 October 2008