Tinkers Club

Ed Sobey

Welcome to the April Lessons for the Tinkers Club


“When curiosity is raised, learning occurs.”


Ed Sobey, Ph.D.

President, Northwest Invention Center

tinkers_aprDo you like to build and make things? One problem we makers always face is a lack of “making” materials. With some creative thinking, however, you can transform very common materials into making materials. For instance, what can you build with paper?

To get your creativity warmed up, try this challenge: Using only one piece of office paper, make the tallest tower possible. The only other material you can use is 6 inches of masking or transparent tape. Office paper in the US is 8-1/2” x 11”. How can you transform this flat piece of paper into something that is taller than you are? Clearly, you need ideas.


 For the April lesson and challenge, click here.

Go to the Tinkers* Club Archives.



Here is where our Tinkers’ Club schedule will take us for the next six months:

October: Take Apart

November: Cars

December: Electric Cars


January: Circle Flyers

February: Catapults

March: Boats

April: Build—From Flimsy to Strong

May: Dr. Sobey will have one more lesson, this month, for the 2013-2014 year, and then will take a break until Fall 2014. — Ed.

Ed Sobey photoDr. Sobey is internationally acclaimed for his insights into creativity for kids of all ages! “Dr. Ed” globetrots to deliver a powerful message that kids learn best when they are creatively engaged. First a research scientist and later a museum director, Ed discovered the power of creative learning as Director of the National Inventors Hall of Fame. During the day he worked with the world’s most successful inventors to discover what gave them the passion to make discoveries. He saw the same passion evolve at home as his young sons invented, played, and learned.

Seeing the same learning process at work in preeminent inventors and school-age children led Ed to develop the Kids Invent! Approach, an educational program sought by educators and policymakers all over the world.

You can find out more about Ed’s work at the Northwest Invention Center at www.invention-center.com.

And, you can watch a video on Ed, “Curiosity, Exploring, Failure, and Plan B” at: http://vimeo.com/67350649.

Car Models that Zoom coverunscrewed - scannedEd is the author of several books. His newest, published August 2013, is Car Models That Zoom: Creativity in Motion (Creativity in Motion series, CreateSpace Independent Publishing)

He is also the author of Unscrewed: Salvage and Reuse Motors, Gears, Switches, and More from Your Old Electronics (Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2011).