A MOTHER and former mechanical engineer has launched her second book aimed at making technology fun for young children.
Caroline Alliston, 48, from Wotton-under-Edge, has self-published ‘Technology for Fun 2: 14 battery powered design and make projects’ following the success of her first Technology for Fun book.
Focussing on electronics, the book reuses the same £15 kit of key electrical parts across 14 creative projects children can make using recycled objects found around their homes.
Mrs Alliston's inspiration comes from both her engineering background and the weekly technology club she runs for almost 30 children at Blue Coat Primary School in Wotton. Coming up with new projects each week for the club got her thinking about sharing her ideas.
From a simple hand-held fan made in a plastic drinks bottle to a motorised auto-rickshaw, the projects provide a fun way into parts of the primary curriculum.
Mrs Alliston, a previous winner of the Gazette's LBA awards for local new businesses, explained: "When you put a bulb circuit in a bottle, it becomes a torch. It’s a very good way to learn and I think children are really engaged when they are doing it, because they can get a bit turned off when they are being spoon-fed things."
And there’s more to the projects than technology alone as they also teach youngsters about science, materials, recycling and how to fix basic electronics.
The opportunity to explore these topics may also inspire engineers of the future.
"We need more scientists and engineers in the country," Mrs Alliston said. "You can see which children are going to make really good engineers at quite an early age and it’s really nice to encourage them at least to consider science and engineering. "
For more information on workshops and stockists see www.technologyforfun.co.uk