Innovative Workshop Information

I’ve reduced my hours at Dyson so that I can deliver Innovative workshops for Schools on Thursday and Friday daytimes. In my 20 year career, this is the most excited I’ve been! Seeing kids faces light up when their ideas come to life! Watching the heartache when they test their designs to destruction, then the elation when they succeed.

It was going into my own children’s primary school that made me first realise just how much I love inspiring young people into solving problems and innovating solutions.

After 4 years of creative sessions with young people all over the world, here’s a list of the kinds of things I offer:

What I offer for schools

The students really enjoyed your session last year – the feedback was fantastic!

-Martha Ware, Chesham Grammar School

More often than not, i’m being booked to deliver one off workshops that can be provided to years 1-6. 

I have a list of pre existing workshops available to choose from which cover everything from innovation to entrepreneurship, mechanisms, teamwork etc but if you have an existing theme you’re covering, I can help put something together tailored to your needs.

AGE RANGE & ability

Being a dad of 3 girls, I’ve worked with children of all ages right up to masters students. I tend to tailor my workshops to the audience which means that I can dial up or down the content depending who i’m working with. This is the same for materials and complexity. There is always a way to simplify things and also ways to make them more complex or challenging, just talk to me about your group.

Locations

Whilst i’m based in the Swindon area, i’m more than happy to travel. However, in this modern era we now have the huge benefit of online sessions. I’ve run seminars for Masters students in Sweden, Online Inventor Club sessions for small groups, huge challenges for 60+ families and LIVE STEM Lockdown challenges for 1000’s of kids all over the world during the global pandemic.

Assemblies

I have a fantastic assembly that i’ve put together to inspire children and teachers alike. It lasts approximately 15- 20 minutes and can be followed by some questions from the children depending how much time you have. I’ve even delivered the assembly online to kick off a schools day of innovation and engineering where budgets are short.

[The assembly] was amazing! the children loved it and it led really nicely into our next activities. Thank you so much.

-Kirsty Danskine, Tanners Wood Junior Mixed and Infant School

Timings & General Organisation

Most of my sessions are designed to last a minimum of 90 minutes as i’ve found this is enough time to outline a problem, and get something built and tested. However, as you may know, the making process takes time. We can easily extend sessions to provide more time for building/testing or to dig deeper. When planning your day, it’s essential to leave at least 5 minutes between sessions to reset materials etc.

I often get asked if we can ‘quickly move to another room during the day’. Having experienced this in a few settings now I would advise against it as there’s a lot of bits and pieces that need setting up. With sufficient time and a lot of help, it is possible but i’d much rather spend that time working with the children.

My day long sessions often span over a lunch session. Can you please remind your lunch staff to leave the tables up. It wastes a good 5 – 10 minutes every time I have to either put the tables back out or in some cases go hunting for them in cupboards!

Number of students & additional support

With sufficient support, anything is possible! I’ve helped 150 ten year olds build bridges simultaneously in the same hall, 60+ families navigate projects at the same time over zoom and worked with multiple classes at the same time. I know there is a tendancy to try and get as many children through the sessions as possible to mke it cost effective but inevitably they get a fraction of a fraction of my time!

I’ve found there are certain workshops that suit larger numbers and others that require smaller groups. My workshop pages will outline recommended numbers of students/helpers. Generally though around 60 students is the upper number for a fairly hands off session or 15 for more dedicated support.

I always recommend additional adult support as the kind of projects we get up to may involve knives, hot melt glue and general build support etc.

themes

Since 2017 I’ve created loads of innovative sessions for thousands of kids all over the world. I’ve taken several of these sessions and developed them into repeatable workshops that can be delivered to all sorts of ages and experiences.

Click the image below to explore my available workshops

Innovative workshops for Schools    

Your workshop was one of the highlights for the students. In our post event survey, over 90% of the students who attended your workshop said they would like to do something like it again. An amazing 63% said that your workshop made them think more about a career in engineering

-Susan Grice, Chesham Grammar School

Beyond workshops

As time has gone on i’ve begun to develop more than just creative workshops. I was asked by the VP of Health & Beauty at Dyson to pull together a seminar on Innovation, Idea Generation & Brainstorming for the Dyson Institute. I’ve since delivered this seminar to various groups from children aged 11 up to masters students. The 45 minute seminar focuses on innovative ways of generating new ideas, then goes into brainstorming methods. It can be teamed with a real time hour-long Brainstorm with a topic of your choice or I can provide a variety of examples.

More recently I wrote and delivered an hour long keynote speech on Innovation and the power of YET to parents, teachers, students, old boys and local business people at Bradford Grammar school.

I’m as happy on stage as I am holding plenary sessions with students, talking through their projects. I love bringing real world context from my industry experience providing suggestions to help them get the best results.

I’ve created a 9 week course all about sketching for product design which i’ve delivered online. It’s been great to see the fast uptake in skill level from my various students.

I would be more than happy to tailor any of my sessions to fit an assembly format. I’ve also helped out with parents and careers evenings on several occasions.

Workshop focus

 

session Pricing & travel

As previously mentioned I’m happy to travel. If sessions are more than 25 miles away there will be a £0.45p per mile additional charge.

90 minutes sessions – £250

Half days – £400

Full days – £700

Consecutive days or ongoing sessions – Talk to me about your requirements and we’ll figure something out

Full weeks – Starting at £3500 depending on content, my 3D printing for innovation course starts at £5000

Testimonial

My favourite recent testimonial is shown below. I can tell you that I will put my heart and soul into the day with your children because not only does it matter, I absolutely love it! i’ve got some cool moments that i can make happen where the children’s belief levels will go through the roof.

I just wanted to let you know that you were a HUGE success on Friday and all children were so enthusiastic and motivated! The sessions you led were excellent and all children had the opportunity to work as a team and build something they were proud of. You are such an inspiration to the children and staff and we feel very lucky to have you visit our school. In my opinion, your visit has been the highlight of the year so far and I am so pleased we have found you!

-Donna Hayward, Acting Assistant Head, Clearwater Academy

To see more about the kind of things we get up to in my Inventor Club and workshop sessions, check out the video below…

Furthermore, fancy pushing the boat out and booking my 3D printing for Innovation course? Check out the video below…