Inventors Club is an organization dedicated to inspiring young creatives and entrepreneurs across Atlanta. Founded by Franchesca Thompson 5 years ago, Inventors Club has been a hub for kids and teens in the community to collaborate and learn. Inventors Club Makerspace is currently located in Conyers and—in addition to having entrepreneurial-focused classes for older students—is expanding their current offerings to include robotics programs, LEGO education program, music production, and a technology lab.
Inventors Club was founded to not only introduce kids to STEM, but to give them the freedom to build and create their dreams. Inventors Club is the first Makerspace in Georgia that focuses on cultivating this 5 to 18 year old age bracket and is looking to expand into Gwinnett to help inspire more innovation and creation.
Here’s more of the story from Franchesca
What’s the story of Inventors Club?
Inventors Club is something I started approximately 5 years ago. It started as a Saturday class at the community center to help kids learn to be designers, put their creative skills to work, and give them the resources they needed for to put together and build different things. It was a Saturday class and as it grew, we started doing camps. We had a Spring Break camp and then we had a 2 week summer camp. We then became a full summer camp and opened 2 different locations.
In the process of that, we wanted to create a hub, like a building hub for kids. That’s what I was calling it back then—a building hub for kids. I didn’t have the term “Makerspace” at that time. I wanted the kids to come in and design things and build things. I started doing some research last year and that’s where I started to find the “Makerspace” stuff and the Makers Faire. There were Makerspaces being developed, but mostly for adults—there wasn’t anything for kids. LA Makerspace had something more towards kids and that’s what we’re trying to do now. Now we’re just in Conyers. We’re looking to move back into Gwinnett, we’re just looking for a building now.
How did you become an entrepreneur?
I’m a classroom teacher, so that’s how I got started. I got started in the classroom working with high school students and helping them develop their business ideas. This was an entrepreneurship class and I realized we needed something like this as they would talk through their business ideas with me. I thought that if we started a little younger encouraging creativity and entrepreneurship—by the time you’re in high school, sometimes that creative ability disappears and is harder to tap into if you don’t grow and nurture it at a younger age. That’s why I started Inventors Club. We have to start younger so that creativity can flourish there and that’s how we started our program and we just made a connection with our community center.
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The Author: Kristine Santos. Entrepreneur. Anthropologist. Writer. Runs social media and blogging for Atlanta-based startup PEAR’d, a virtual collaboration ecosystem for entrepreneurs. A vegetarian who’s learning how to sew and wants to know all about your startup. Let’s talk on Twitter@PEARdUP