Bath children devise award-winning inventions

The final of the first annual Bath Young Inventor of the Year Award, sponsored by EIP, was hosted at the Museum of Bath at Work on Saturday 18 July.

The competition aims to inspire the next generation of young inventors aged under 18 in Bath. At stake was the perpetual ‘Young Inventor’ trophy designed and made by Cross Manufacturing Company.

The Bath Young Inventor of the Year Award was organised by Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution (BRLSI) and supported by local organisations including the Museum of Bath at Work, EIP, Cross Manufacturing Company and the University of Bath.

During the final, all entrants had to display their inventions and make a short presentation to explain their work. STEM Ambassador of the Year and Chartered Civil Engineer Kath Waring, from Bath was the overall judge and presented the certificates and trophy.

“All the entries demonstrated a sense of innovation and entrepreneurship,” commented Kath. “I was really impressed with the presentations the children made to explain their idea and its application.”

The winners of the under-12 category was a team of two, Jesse and Lewis Woolnough, who had devised a small scale turbine to be used in the home to generate electricity, making use of readily-available domestic items and opportunities.

Winners of the under-18 category and overall winners was a team of young women, Kitty Gillings and Nicola Barker who had devised a monitor to measure and display energy consumption in the home, not only to save people money but also to try to change consumers’ behaviour to use less energy and thus as they explained “help to save the planet”.

“This was a very impressive entry,” said Kath. “It included a clear definition of the idea, market research which involved a well worked questionnaire, a costing of the product and a small model. They had a good PowerPoint presentation and a poster to explain their plans.”

Paul Thomas of organisers BRLSI, was very pleased with the standard of entries. He said: “It was good to see that both winning entries were concerned with energy conservation in the context of concerns about climate change and trying to devise effective ways of mitigating the damage we humans are inflicting on the planet.”

Stuart Burroughs, curator of the Museum of Bath at Work, explained why his museum actively supported the competition and hosted it. “As our museum demonstrates, Bath has over the last three centuries developed a reputation as a hub of innovation in the UK, up to the present. These young inventors give me confidence that Bath will continue in this vein.”