Engineering-style workshops?(5 Posts)
I'm new to MN so apologies if this has come up before - but does anyone know of any engineering-style workshops that I can take my son to?
He is 9 and a half, is the most lego-mad person on the planet - and pretty interested in Meccano, K-Nex, etc, etc - and says he wants to be a robotics engineer when he grows up.
I'm keen to encourage this but apart from going to Launchpad in the Science Museum (which we do often) and trips to Legoland (of more tenuous benefit, but we've done this several times, too!) I'd like to get him involved with something more structured - and amongst others that share his passion.
The Institution of Civil Engineers has school ambassadors (I am one in Yorkshire) who go into schools and run these type of activities; there are regional coordinators for each region. I know it's not quite what you are looking for, but you could ask your DS's school if they would like to invite someone in for such an activity. They used to be free, but I think the ICE charge a bit for them now. If you want any more info, want the contacts of your regional coordinator etc, please PM me.
Do you have a relative who's in to making stuff? Or messing around with engines in garages, carpentry? All the things that older people did a lot more that we do now. He may need a project like making stuff with balsa wood, making a go-kart, then adding a motor. May be totally unrealistic , but one step up from lego and he learns practical wood/metal skills. Ahh, those were the days!
we have a friend who builds and flies model aeroplanes and boats etc.
There are various robotics competitions, for which you could get up a team. Then your son can brainstorm with other young people who enjoy his hobby. I am sure that if you get the ball rolling you will find some other young people who'd like to take part. These are the only ones I know of but I am sure you can find more if you google "robotics competitions":
First Lego League http://firstlegoleague.org/
RoboCup Junior http://rcj.robocup.org/about.html
Did your son ever watch Bamzooki when that was on TV? I think he can still download a Zook kit and use it to design virtual robots to enter challenges: http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/bamzooki/
Also online is http://www.roblox.com/ where kids can design robots.
Is Winchester reasonable distance for you? We spent the day at Intech yesterday. It is smaller than the entire Science Museum but bigger than LaunchPad and is all hands-on - like LaunchPad times four. It also has a planetarium for which you pay separately.
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