GWP and Innovation Ben inspire refugees with STEM lessons

By Ben Carey on 7 October, 2022

Packaging business GWP, along with local engineer Ben Edmonds, is offering STEM and innovation lessons to Ukrainian children living in the UK.

Ben Edmonds, known as Innovation Ben, is the named inventor on multiple global patents and works as a Principal Engineer at Dyson. He also runs a weekly inventor club for young people in his spare time and is offering support to refugees by providing free places on his courses.

There are three places on offer to Ukrainian children thanks to the partnership with GWP.

He said, “While I am not in a position to host a refugee family, after everything they have been through I am keen to offer any support I can. Providing free scholarships on my courses seemed like a small way I could contribute to welcoming them and hopefully making the transition to living in a new country easier. The aim is to provide something fun and inspiring for them to be involved with.

“I am not a big company. It’s just me running my courses in the evenings, trying to pass on my passion for design, engineering and innovation to the next generation. Thanks to the generosity of GWP – who have kindly pledged to match me with 50 per cent of the course fees – I will be able to offer three places this term completely free of charge to children from Ukraine who have a flair for these subjects.”

Besides Inventor Club and his other ventures, Ben has launched a global DT innovation competition this Autumn in partnership with Doha College and COBIS, reaching over 280 schools worldwide. He also recently ran his first online Inventor Club with a group of students in Hong Kong to raise money for the Disasters Emergency Committee.

Packaging company GWP, which is part of Macfarlane Group PLC, already sponsors Ben by providing all the cardboard he uses for Inventor Club and his educational workshops.

Matt Dobson, Marketing manager at GWP, said, “We have had a long-standing relationship with Ben. His enthusiasm for inspiring the next generation of designers and engineers is something we feel is incredibly important. So, when Ben suggested helping Ukrainian children in the local area take part in his courses, we were delighted to be able to help.”

This term of Inventor Club is going to be all about transportation. Students will be making cars fly, creating a working monorail, designing the car of the future, jet-powering dragsters for time trials, making trains climb cliffsides and building soap box racers.

The criteria to apply for the places are as follows:

  • Children must be aged between 7 and 15 years.
  • They must be able to describe or show in some way (pictures or videos) why they would like to join Inventor Club.
  • The candidates will be enthusiastic and have a love for making, tinkering, creating and a fascination with problem-solving and how things work.
  • English language skills are not a priority, just a passion for design engineering and a desire to learn.
  • Children applying must live within commuting distance of Swindon.

The deadline for applications is Wednesday 12th of October. For more details email ben@innovationben.com