Problem solving, inventiveness, higher-order thinking skills: these are all skills that we would like to see more of in our students. But more often than not, children believe that these skills exist only in the realm of talented, highly skilled professionals. Wonder Wits will make them think otherwise.
In the book Gadget Hero, Luke and Sophie are at the Gadget Fair looking for a suitable story for their school paper - a story that would make people curious about inventing. Before trying the stalls on the upper level they stop for a drink. there they find a woman placing a sign that reads 'THANKS HERO' on a vending machine. Enquiring about the sign, Sophie discovers the woman is Angela Richards, the president of the Hero Appreciation Society and the 'Hero' in questions is Hero of Alexandria; an ancient Greek inventor.
Sensing they may have found their story, Sophie and Luke make an appointment to find out more. Upstairs in the Hero Appreciation Society's hall the children view Hero's inventions including toys (such as toy theatre), fountains, surveying instruments and the aeolipile ('wind ball'); the world's first steam-powered engine. The children discover Hero worked at the museum in Alexandria where he taught maths and science. Miss Richards also tells them of Hero's notebooks, filled with ideas for inventions and tips on how to be a great inventor.
Back at school the children plant 'THANKS HERO' labels around the school and people are so curious about it that they sell every copy of the school paper. In recognition of their achievements Sophie and Luke are made life members of the Hero Appreciation Society.