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
The theme for this term
This term is inspired by the greatest iterative inventor of all time – Nature! We’re exploring all things BIOMIMICRY based which is where engineers and scientists explore what nature does, then replicates it, sometimes combining different ideas and concepts together.
Launch video coming soon, this is the one from last term
There are two ways to pay:
Firstly in full for the whole term. That’s 11 weeks (Normally 12) at £15 per week and a kit of specialised parts costing £30 and postage and packaging direct to your house totalling £201.
Secondly, given the exceptional times we find ourselves in, I’m currently giving the option to split term payments into two 6 week blocks. A £50 non refundable deposit secures your child’s place. This deposit covers the kit of parts for the term as well as the first session fees. This leaves 2 payments of £75.50 remaining. The first 6 week’s fees will be due 1st January, the second on 1st February. I cannot hold spaces open without the fees being paid, I simply don’t have time to chase people. Any issues, please reach out to me.
If you live close to Swindon, you might like to consider my In Person sessions which are based out of the University technical college on Bristol street.
Weekly timetable from September 2022
Sessions run weekly during Wiltshire term time with the following dates:
January 11th – later start due to freelance job, 18th, 25th
February 1st, 8th, (15th is Half term), 22nd
March 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th
January 14th – later start due to freelance job, 21st, 28th
February 4th, 11th, (18th is half term), 25th
March 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th
Payment for this term is via bank transfer to our Monzo account. The previous ‘fancy system’ turned out to be a continuing nightmare to work with so we’ve gone old school again!
Sort Code 040004
Account Number 08329407
Account Name Ben Edmonds
Reference – please add your child’s name and their chosen day as a reference to help me track down payments.
Unless you speak to me first, I will be offering a first come, first served policy. When the sessions are full, I will edit this page to avoid issuing refunds.