A lasercut desk toy from MS Raynsford

Think Club

Get excited by what you don’t yet know

Think Club is a place for young people to be creative, to explore the world around them and to learn the skills and techniques they need to shape it, design it, invent it, and understand it. Hosted by Think Physics at Think Lab, on the Northumbria University city Centre campus, Think Club will meet weekly and for occasional intensive ‘build weeks’ to discuss, challenge, create and build.

It’ll be a ‘maker club’, but also more than that: we want to use the time to host guest speakers, debates, and challenges. We’re equipping the lab with materials, tools and resources, including 3D printers and (via the university workshops) laser cutters. We’ll be very well set-up for craft, light engineering, sewing, electronics and programming, and so on.

But we’re most excited by what we don’t yet know. We have lots of ideas for what Think Club might be, but how it develops and where it goes will depending on its members.

So: join us. Join us to work out what this thing is. Join us to create something wonderful. Join us to build the future.

Think Club 0 – The Details

Think Club is so experimental, we’re not even going to call it ‘Think Club Group 1’, it’s Think Club Zero. Alpha. Preview. Test. You get the idea.

We do, however, have a plan. We’re going to exhibit at the amazing – and huge – Maker Faire UK, and we’ve ideas about the sorts of things we’re going to make and show. So that’ll be the focus of this initial stage, and we’ll use it to work out what we all, collectively, want Think Club to be beyond that.

Wednesday meet-ups, Easter Build Week

We’ll start by meeting on Wednesdays from 4:15 until 6pm, in Think Lab on the Northumbria Campus (we’ve notes on how to find us).

Over Easter we’ll gather for an intensive Build Week, 13th to 17th April, to get the bulk of the work for Maker Faire UK done.

What to expect

Over time, we hope Think Club will involve discussion, debates, guest speakers, events, and plenty of time for you to pursue your own projects. Expect to make things, get your hands dirty, learn techniques, share ideas, and work on your own or with others to explore useful, whimsical, expressive or challenging engineering ideas. At Maker Faire you’ll see a huge range of inspiration and techniques to get you started, and by then you’ll have the knowledge and skills to know how you could tackle projects large and small.

Who we’re looking for

We’re looking for intrepid and creative individuals to help us test and refine our plans. Think Club will start with a small group, so we’re taking applications. You’ll be aged 14 or over and you’d describe yourself with some words like:

creative : practical : thoughtful : inspiring : geeky : inventive : investigative : collaborative : artistic : eager

Expect to sew, code, argue, solder, bolt, glue, cut, debate, fold, stick, sketch, discuss, craft, carve, collaborate, model, print… and think. There’ll be lots of thinking.

For this first run of the club, we’re also looking for people who can commit to the following dates:

  • Wednesday evenings from 18th or 25th of March onwards
  • 13-17th April – Build Week, at Think Lab on the Northumbria University campus, Newcastle
  • 25/26th April – Maker Faire UK, at the Centre for Life, Newcastle

If you can’t make a couple of dates that’s probably OK, but you’ll have noticed that we don’t have a lot of time before Maker Faire. You’ll discover when we start that we’ve a heap of stuff to get done.

If you are from one of the NUSTEM partner schools, we will be able to cover your travel expenses to and from Think Club.

How to apply

You’ll mostly be recommended to us by your teachers, but if you happen to have spotted this page do drop us a line via this form. We’ll be in touch.

Please note that we’ll need to contact your parent or guardian for their consent before we can confirm your place.

Sounds good. Sign me up!