Free Inventors Workshop: Vancouver, June 13

Calling all inventors!

We will be hosting a fun, free, Inventors Workshop for 7-9 year olds to celebrate our first Vancouver Mini Maker Faire! During this workshop we’ll be playing games and exploring the properties of different materials alongside electronics.

View full article →

If I Built A House: Sparking Creativity with Kids

Sometimes I like to start my workshops with books that spark creativity. "If I Built a House" by Chris Van Dusen is one of my favourites.

If I Built A House by Chris Van Dusen

View full article →

Wanted: Inventors!

Calling all inventors! Carleton University and Maker Junior

Maker Junior is thrilled to be partnering with researchers from the School of Information Technology at Carleton University. We will be hosting a fun, free, Inventors Workshop for 7-9 year olds to explore bendable materials and electronics. Young 7-9 yrs makers must have participated in past Maker Junior Workshops in order to attend the first phase of these workshops. During this workshop we’ll be playing games and exploring the properties of different materials alongside electronics. All participants will have a chance to build their own inventions and share with everyone what they have created.

At a later date, after the Inventors Workshop, we’ll be hosting sessions with our littlest inventors, 2-5 years of age, to see how they engage and interact with refined prototypes. During this session, participants will be able to play and interact with various prototypes to see what is the most fun! For this second phase siblings of past participants are welcome as well as friends.

Participants will be compensated with refreshments, materials and bus tickets with their parent to and from the location. This research has been cleared by Carleton University Research Ethics Board-B (16-083).

Workshop Dates:

The workshop dates are:
Phase One:
April 17th, 2016
1-3 pm
Room 1B, Nepean Centrepointe Library
May 7th, 2016
1-3 pm
Qualicum-Graham Park Community Centre

Phase Two:
May 28th, 2016
Group A 10:30- 11
Group B 11-11:30
Location to be announced

For more information, or if you are interested in participating in this free workshop please contact Alison at or 613-710-9427.


Dr Audrey Girouard
Supervisor, School of Information Technology, Carleton University

Alison Evans Adnani
Business Partner, Maker Junior

Layda Gongora
Lead Researcher, Carleton University


Focus and Dedication: A Multi-week Inventive Effort

This is one cool invention. The inventor has taken the GNAG Inventors Workshop for several sessions. This session, instead of following along with the usual projects, this young inventor took the materials from each project and added on to this creation. Here's a breakdown of the features and what projects they come from:

  • Storage compartment access flap (around the back) has a circuit "puzzle" on the back that both lights and buzzes when successfully completed. This is from two projects, Quiz Cards and Design Your Own Game.
  • Voice recorder that captures and records instructions is hidden under the nose. This is from the Talking Stuffie project. As is the design and decoration of the head!
  • Jointed elbows and shoulders come from the Articulated Hand project (and yes, one hand is fully articulated).
  • Treads. That was the tough part. We tried several different ideas using wheels and bicycle inner tubes during the weeks we use for Inventions. During the last week we came up with using pool noodles and dowels. The inventor was very satisfied with this solution!

Myself, I'm thrilled with this invention! I completely respect the amount of focus and dedication required to put this together. Not to mention the attention to detail!

Inventor Workshop Creations, 6-8 yr olds

We're wrapping up our latest session of the GNAG Inventors Workshop and we've started working on our inventions.

This year we started an afterschool class for the  6-8 year olds. It has been very popular! It is a very different class from the 9-12 year olds. More spontaneous. Some of the kids are really interested in the inventors notebook we keep and fill it up with ideas. I explain that we're creating prototypes. I bring in the tech we've worked with (motors/LEDs/etc), materials I've found, and pieces we've discovered during a Make and Break.

One of my youngest inventors wanted to make a tablet computer and kept their focus on that all year. This is the result (it's currently running a Minecraft "app"):

Other creations are more spontaneous. This one combines an LED and battery with some of the found parts.

Other inventions solve problems. This is a money hat, you can carry your money with you in a concealed pocket and look fashionable too!

And some are just following artistic expression and the joy of working with your hands. With this creation he wasn't sure what it was until the very end, he was just enjoying creating a pattern and working with the materials. It wasn't until the very last minute he decided it was a picture frame!