UK-based GWP has teamed up with a ‘cardboard ninja’ to inspire the next generation of engineers and inventors.
Ben Edmonds, the founder of Innovation Ben, runs a weekly inventor club for kids online, and visits schools throughout the UK to help with STEM-related activities. Having seen a significant increase in interest in his classes, Edmonds found himself using a growing amount of corrugated board. GWP has since stepped in to sponsor his workshops and courses by providing the materials he uses.
Edmonds (pictured left with one of the students), who is also a Principal Engineer at Dyson, commented, “I have been running my workshops since 2017 and began to provide more online classes during the pandemic. But as the number of sessions has grown, I have found myself using more and more cardboard material. I have worked with GWP as part of Dyson for several years, so I was keen to get them on board. When I approached them, they were eager to help. GWP’s way of working, thought processes and products align perfectly with what I am trying to achieve. I’m delighted that we have the opportunity to inspire future generations of world changers through a mutual love of cardboard.”
Although board may not be the obvious choice for engineering workshops, it provides the perfect solution for Ben’s activities. He adds, “Cardboard is undoubtedly my favourite material – and I say that having worked with titanium, pressure die-cast aluminium, deep-drawn stainless steel, and a multitude of technical plastics in my career to date. It is incredibly accessible and versatile and allows for some fantastic projects – I have even used it to create a Bumblebee Transformers fancy dress costume.”
Offering a mixture of in-person workshops and online classes, Innovation Ben provides engineering and STEM workshops in schools across the UK every week. Although sessions are generally aimed at young people aged between 7 and 17, he has recently been working with students at The Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology, Gloucestershire University, Lund University in Sweden and even taught a group of retirees Computer-Aided Design. Edmonds has been working closely with the UTC (University Technical College) network, exploring ways to roll out inventor club across their 48 schools and using them as a centre of excellence to inspire local primary-aged children into STEM activities. They are currently looking for a sponsor to help pilot the project before expanding further.