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The power of ideas

To celebrate some important inventions.

by Tim Scott

Suitable for Whole School (Sec)

Aims

To celebrate some important inventions.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a flipchart or whiteboard.
  • Optional PowerPoint of technological ‘favourites’ of the day.
  • You could play some ‘mood music’ as students enter and leave.

Assembly

  1. Ask students to name their favourite inventions, for example: TV, iPod, Nintendo Wii. You could have a PowerPoint slideshow showing different inventions.
  2. Where do you think good ideas come from? (Allow time for reflection/answers.) Throughout history, the world has been blessed by people who were inspired and their ideas have changed all our lives. I’ll give you a couple of examples, but there are many more.
  3. Invention 1. For centuries, operations were carried out with no relief from the pain. A Scottish doctor called James Young Simpson introduced something he called ‘artificial sleep’. Can you guess what the invention was? Anaesthesia – pain relief that allows surgeons to operate effectively. Would you like to be operated on without it?!

    Simpson was interested in surgery and saw the extreme pain and high mortality rate operations caused. Simpson was a Christian and read in his Bible the story of Adam and Eve: ‘And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam’ (Genesis 2.21).

    Simpson discovered that a chemical called chloroform was able to put people to sleep. He initially tried it out on himself, testing out the dosages needed to make a person unconscious and for the right amount of time. In 1847 the first three operations with chloroform took place. Initially the young doctor experienced opposition. However, after Queen Victoria gave birth to her eighth child with the help of chloroform, she declared she was ‘greatly pleased with its effect’ and it became widely accepted for surgical use, helping millions of people worldwide.

    Invention 2. In 1824, a Frenchman invented a system of raised dots on paper that allowed blind and visually impaired people to read, for the first time ever, unlocking a whole world of education for them. Today, the system has been adapted for almost every known language. What invention is this? Braille, after its inventor, Louis Braille.
  4. Perhaps there are things that you have heard about that are going on in society today that concern you. What could you do about it?

    Have you ever thought about the talents and gifts that you have and how you could use them? Decide what you do best and do that!

    Thomas Edison, the inventor of (among other things) the electric light bulb, set himself the goal of coming up with a really important invention every six months and a less important one every ten days. At the time of his death, he had 1,093 patents to his name! Edison found what he did best and stuck to it.
  5. One good piece of advice is to start where you are. Just as with a journey of 1,000 miles, the road to success starts with one step. This is a step of faith.

Time for reflection

Everyone has different talents, but we all have ideas from time to time that could make this world a better place.

Don’t compare yourself with others and think that you are not very talented.

What’s important is not how many talents you have, but what you do with perhaps one talent that you have.

What are you good at? Focus on that and it will lead you into a life of real fulfilment and success.

One idea can change so much. Today, challenge yourself to think of an idea that blesses others. Then act on it!

There is no limit to good ideas and you’ll be amazed what could happen!

If you have a faith, ask God to help you.

Prayer

Thank you for giving people ideas and the ability to make them happen,

to invent new medicines, technology, businesses, charities, music and other things.

Please inspire us with new ideas that can help and bless others.
Help us to see and use our talents to the maximum.
Amen.

Publication date: June 2010   (Vol.12 No.6)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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