I’ve been trying to figure out a way to take my Inventor Club online for a few years now. The Covid pandemic was the push I needed to make it happen. My friend Dion Trigg from True Function Ninja Warrior Training Ground talks about teaching people to Adapt and Overcome – this was exactly that moment!
Through a series of trial and error sessions I’ve hit on a format that works fantastically well with great results!
What is the format for Online Inventor Club?
Sessions are 90 minutes long just like my In Person sessions. Sessions are held over ZOOM, login details are provided once you’re fully signed up.
We still use my design challenge format where I provide a theme and a starting place for the kids to work from but then they add their own ideas and hopefully take the concept to the next level. We usually start with an outline of the session and a little background, followed by a chat about the necessary tools and materials. Then there are some key learning points for the session, some inspiration to get their minds thinking and finally some brief instructions or techniques to allow them to create something. I then go round the group talking to the kids about their ideas, calling out key thought processes or interesting ways of approaching the solutions, helping them to bring their ideas to life through sketching, model making and verbal communication.
How do they know what to do?
Each week is accompanied by sheets that help to form the backdrop to the sessions. The sheets can be printed if you want, sometimes they contain templates that are needed for the sessions. If you don’t have access to a printer, worry not, there is always a way to progress – just one of my many regular lessons – resourcefulness 🙂 An example of the sheets is shown below
What materials do they need for the sessions?
Each term has a kit of parts that are essential to complete the challenges. These are then supplemented with items from around your home like cardboard, sellotape and other household recycling or generally available items.
What tools do we need?
Nothing too specialist, generally a craft knife, glue gun, steel ruler are all that needed. If any other tools are required, I will let you know ahead of time, I never use anything that’s crazy expensive, I try and make my sessions as accessible as possible.
Here’s a video showing you the kinds of tools and materials we use