Fran Scott discovers the importance of testing an invention. She meets Yusuf Muhammad in his floating workshop on board the HMS President. He introduces her to his invention, ‘Auto Mist’, which automatically puts out fires in the home. He explains the detailed testing procedure he went through, before demonstrating the product in action, and getting Fran a little wet in the process! She also meets Mark Champkins and looks at a ‘Chairpadbag’, one of his range of products designed to help children concentrate at school. He discusses the importance of a trial with real people to find any flaws in the prototype.
Using the clip as inspiration, children could take Mark Champkins’ idea of designing products for the school environment. Children could think about any problems they have within the classroom and ways in which they could solve problems. They could use the school community as natural place for testing and could collate results in order to improve their products. Children could even focus in on the seating issue, looking at all of the different criteria a chair needs to have before considering how they could make improvements to an existing design. Children could invite school furniture designers in to school to discuss their own design and testing process with them, trying out some of their samples and understanding the significance of collating this information.