Little Inventors

Inventors of Michigan have changed the world with their ideas, from the humble lightbulb to futuristic fiber optic and many more jaw-dropping inventions in between. For this year’s challenge we learned from the past and looked to the future to find out if you had what it takes to make history with your invention ideas!

In the past hundred years our world has changed more than ever before. There are more humans on the planet and people are living much longer due to amazing medical and technological innovations. But this brings many challenges too, like a bigger demand for food and electricity, less space for plants and animals, changes in the weather and many other problems big and small.

With the spirit of famous inventors before you such as Thomas Edison and Marie Curie, we challenged you to come up with genius solutions to real challenges people are facing in Michigan and beyond!

Scroll down to view the 8 invention challenges below the resources on this page from real people around the world. Which invention challenge did you choose?

MISD Born to Invent: Michigan and Beyond! - Full resource pack

Download this pack and you'll find everything you need to deliver the challenge to your students!

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Activated Powerpoint - Part 1: Back in the Day

This is a narrated version of Part 1 of the powerpoint in the resource pack.

Click download to watch on YouTube


Activated Powerpoint - Part 2: Right here, right now!

This is a narrated version of Part 2 of the powerpoint in the resource pack.

Click download to watch on YouTube


Activated Powerpoint - Part 3: Into the future

This is a narrated version of Part 3 of the powerpoint in the resource pack.

Click download to watch on YouTube


Activated Powerpoint - Part 4: The challenges

This is a narrated version of Part 4 of the powerpoint in the resource pack.

Click download to watch on YouTube


Challenge 1

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Dominic from Newcastle, England

"Can you come up with an invention to entertain my baby for at least 30 minutes?"

Our Chief Inventor Dominic is struggling to concentrate on inventing brilliant things because his new born baby gets bored very easily. What could you invent to keep Dominic's young baby boy entertained for longer?

How about something that teaches the baby something, or a fun toy that keeps changing or some sort of silly game. It's completely up to you!

Challenge 2

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Aniva from Samoa, Polynesia

"What can you invent to help protect people's homes and land from the effects of sea level rise?"

Aniva lives on the small island of Samoa which is about half way between Hawaii and New Zealand in the Pacific Ocean. Due to climate change sea levels are rising all over the globe and people who live on small islands are having to adapt the ways that they live.

Think about flooding and how all that water might affect peoples houses, fields where food is grown or where animals live and eat. What creative ideas can you come up with to help?

Challenge 3

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Jaxon from Michigan, USA

"Can you invent something to help me play with my Lego more easily that might also help me with other small tasks too?"

Jaxon is a budding Lego enthusiast and has big dreams of join the Lego robotics team next year! But he has a problem, he finds it hard to connect the small pieces of Lego together and to pick up the small pieces. What can you invent to help him? Maybe the invention will also be useful for Jaxon when he need to hold other small items like pins or a paintbrush.

Challenge 4

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Sonia from Concepción, Chile

"What could you invent to bring joy to older people and make them feel valued?"

Sonia is 78 years old and she has a message for the younger generation! Older people have lived on the planet for many years and seen the way things have changed, for better and for worse. Although they might not be as physically able as the young they still have a lot to give!

What could you come up with to make use of all their knowledge and wisdom? And how could you make Sonia and older people like her feel useful again?

Challenge 5

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Leo from Michigan, USA

"Can you invent something to make me feel less lonely when my humans are away at school and work?"

Leo the dog lives in Michigan with his two best friends Elsie and Evie. Elsie and Evie have to go to kindergarten in the day time to learn lots of important things and to see their friends so Leo gets left at home alone. He's a sociable dog and can get pretty lonely sometimes with no one around to have fun or cuddle with. Can you invent something to help him?

Challenge 6

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Dileep from Masai Mara, Kenya

"Can you come up with an invention to help animals access water or to survive when there's a drought?"

Dileep is a senior conservationist and wildlife photographer living in the Masai Mara in Kenya, Africa. There are thousands of wild animals living there from zebra to lions. But the country can experience times of extreme drought, which means no rain for a very long time and therefore no water for the animals to drink or bathe or for plants to grow.

Using your brilliant imagination can you come up an invention that could help the animals survive? Think outside the box, fly high, dive down low, and let your imagination run wild with this one!

Challenge 7

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George from Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

“Can you come up with an invention to help protect the precious animals in our ocean?”

As a diver and marine biologist George gets to see the animals living under the ocean most days. He sees the difficulties they get into when they get caught up in trash from humans such as plastic bottles and fishing nets, which can lead to injury and sometimes death. He wants your help to protect these amazing animals like turtles, fish, sharks and rays!

Use your creativity to come up with a unique solution! Don't just think about collecting trash but also ways to stop it getting into the ocean in the first place or ways to stop using plastic altogether.

Challenge 8

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Steve from Cumbria, England

"Can you invent something to help paramedics get to patients as quickly and safely as possible?"

Steve is a paramedic and his job is to help look after people who have got themselves in trouble. They may have had a traffic accident or fallen and hurt themselves. Steve and his team need to get to their patients as quickly as possible whilst also staying safe to get them the help they need.Steve wants your help to come up with an invention to do that!

They already have ambulances and helicopters but these both have their downsides, like having to get through traffic at peak hour or needing to find a good spot to land. What other ideas could you come up with to help Steve and his team?