Clayton Bromley, of the Makerspace Nanaimo leadership team, hopes to bring Young Engineers curriculum to Vancouver Island. It introduces children to the fun and challenge of science, technology, engineering and math. Bromley is pictured here with daughter Ada. (KARL YU/The News Bulletin)

Curriculum would suit after-school engineers

Kickstarter campaign started to raise money for Young Engineers program

A Nanaimo couple is raising money in the hopes of bringing a science skill enrichment program to Nanaimo.

Clayton Bromley, part of the leadership at Makerspace Nanaimo, an open community lab, and his wife have a begun a Kickstarter.com campaign for the Young Engineers curriculum, with a goal of $20,000. It introduces children to science, technology, engineering and math concepts and Bromley said it is similar to piano, where a pianist would work to develop skills.

“This would be something for one of the [science and technology] crowd,” said Bromley. “So kids that like to make, to build, like base engineering concepts and to become innovative and play with electronics, this is that extracurricular for them.”

Initially, Bromley said he is eyeing two curriculum packages aimed at children aged four to 11 years old. The initial plan is to acquire territory in the central and north Island.

“We’re in communication right now with the Young Engineers franchise…” said Bromley. “They have a worldwide franchise … The big reason we’re trying to do it is, it was a venture enterprise for us to help Makerspace and the Makerspace society across the Island with funds, so creating a profit venture that the profits actually go back into the community again.”

Courses would be offered at Makerspace’s McGarrigle Road location and libraries and Bromley said he’s communicated with the Nanaimo school district about offering it after school.

Attendees would be charged, although Bromley said exceptions will be made for those funded by a community access fund. A percentage will then be provided to the location that is hosting the course.

Bromley said the campaign is an “all or nothing” proposition, with a deadline of June 30. As of Saturday afternoon, $2,845 had been raised.

The $20,000 represents half the startup cost, with Bromley and his wife providing the other half.

For more information, search Science, Tech and Engineering for Vancouver Island Kids at www.kickstarter.com.

reporter@nanaimobulletin.com