20 June 2012

Cracking Ideas: My Encounter with Wallace & Gromit

Yesterday I attended the "Cracking Ideas" awards ceremony at the Spaceport in the Seacombe ferry terminal near Wallasey. The event was attended by Baroness Wilcox, Minister with responsibility for Intellectual Property, TV presenter Gareth Jones, 14 innovative youngsters and their families and, of course, these two characters. Wallace & Gromit.

The "Cracking Ideas Competition" is a collaboration between Aardman Animations Ltd. and the Intellectual Property Office. It is part of a wider project consisting of lesson plans, activity packs, challenges and the Cracking Ideas website, to encourage innovation and creativity amongst children and young people between the ages of 4 and 16.

According to the IPO's press release, the competition attracted 4,000 entries.  The national winners were
  • Jessica Williamson, aged 8 of Stewarton, who invented Wallace & Gromit style ‘Wrong Trousers’ lace-up football boots, with a spring sole contraption to assist with goal-scoring;
  • BritneyAnn Guest, aged 11 of Kidderminster, who designed ‘Mini Flatleys’ dancing shoes with a free lucky charm bracelet for greater performance and comfort; and 
  • Elliot Comnene, aged 13 of Bonnyrigg, who created the ‘Footie ChairSpring-O-Matic’ to help wheelchair users develop their football skills.
This year's contest has a space theme.  A good place to start would be the Spaceport's exhibition on astronomy and space travel.  Apparently they host parties so I shall recommend  the Spaceport to Henry Carr QC as a venue for the Intellectual Property Bar Association bash.  It would make a change from Middle Temple.   I can't be the only one who would like to send Sir Robin Jacob into orbit.

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