Policemen are getting younger, so are doctors - and so it seems, are inventors. Forget crusty old ‘Q' and think instead of a five-year old boy called Sam Houghton, who has come up with the idea of a double-headed broom which collects large debris, such as leaves, with the first head, and fine particles with the second. Fortuitously, his father is a patents lawyer and decided the idea was worth protecting with a patent, although there are no plans to market the broom at present. Sam is thought to be the youngest person in Britain to patent an idea (more).
The UK Inellectual Property Office (IPO), otherwise known as the Patents Office, has set up a ‘Cracking Ideas' initiative for younger inventors/entrepreneurs. Taking inspiration from Wallace and Gromit (let's get cracking) there are resources for teachers to encourage innovation in the classroom, a competition zone and a student zone, all with lots of examples of crackpot ideas as well as good ones!