Young Inventor News Update

Updates following the Spring 2012 Young Inventor workshop at the Kimball Art Center, Park City, Utah.

 Whirler    Jiggle  

The YI concept has generated a lot of interest – the Leonardo in SLC and Science A – Z are two recent groups that have shown interest. Last week I was interviewed by Science A – Z and a video will appear on their website. So have started applying the YI concept to other themes and it works really well – even to creating new types of cake, cookies, and bread – but also to robotics, power generators, etc. So my idea is to take the whole thing further and start a Young Inventor Club – a web and blog site – where I’ll show videos, photos, info re. where to find key components, and set challenges, etc. I also plan to use the new logo, above, when promoting YI and Teen Inventor workshops. Until the new YI website is up and running I’ll use this web and blog site for updates.


The logic behind Young Inventors is to break a theme down into its key component parts and then have the YI’s experiment with every type of variation of combining the key components that they can think of  – which is a lot! This type of creativity, and invention, provides a bridge, I think, between science and art. Where the mediums used by the YI’s are new to art but can be just as creatively explored as any other artistic medium. Just as the study of perspective throws math into painting compositions so too can more academic math and science add dimension to the YI type of discovery and creation; but math and science skills develop and are applied naturally according to need. For example, a triangular frame is more stable than a square frame and coupling two batteries together adds more power. This PDF just shows just one type of key component category, “Energy Sources,” – where lots of batteries, solar cells, rubber bands, etc., were supplied, and positioned  in one of the “Key Component,” trays, at the workshop.




 Solar Buggy 


Young Inventor Spring 2012 Workshop Updated

This is an updated blog with photos. Movie clips appear in Blog 8.


The latest Young Inventor workshop just ended after two hours a day for the week of April 9th. The Young Inventors were younger than before, aged 6 to 8 years, with higher energy levels, and more rapid invention development –  but with less time spent on refining their creations. The group created an unexpectedly high number of vehicles, mostly powered by solar cells, batteries, and rubber bands – with vehicles that travelled on land, water, and air. We had machines that walked like insects, crawled like snails, rolled like dragsters, swam like propellor powered whales, and flew like powered gliders. The young students also made geometrical models that could change shape or have fixed shapes.

Associate Inventor Malone Sheeran

Biggest lesson for me was that younger inventors need a snack and a run-around-break! Malone Sheeran, a Sophomore at South Summit High School, was my very able Associate Inventor during the week. Malone brought in snacks encouraged the students to find out which vehicles moved the fastest, farthest. or how well they walked, or how far they crawled. Malone’s main academic interest is astrophysics. Malone’s experience, working with children through her community rolls in the Girl Scouts and with the Rotary’s “Interact Club,” helped the kids focus and overcome the challenges they were faced with.  Sad news is that Malone died in an auto accident April 24th and we’ll all miss her. The upcoming Teen Inventor Workshop, in the summer at Kimball Art Center will be dedicated to her – it will include robotics, she really liked the idea!

Spring 2012 Young Inventors:

Sophia 7 y.o.

Wesley 7 y.0.

Hunter 8 y.o.







Patrick 8 y.o.

Cooper 8 y.o.   

Jet 6 y.o.







The next “Young Inventor,” class will be towards the end of July at the Kimball Art Center – the same week as the first “Teen Inventor” class. Will add robotics to the class.

Young Inventor Radio Interview at KPCW

To hear yesterdays radio interview at KPCW re. upcoming Young Inventor workshops, a book signing, and soon a, “Teen Inventor,” workshop please press the following link: