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Upcoming events

    • 01 Oct 2019
    • 10:00 AM
    • 02 Oct 2019
    • 7:00 PM
    • The Edinburgh Tool Library, Edinburgh
    • 5

    Exhibit Prototyping: Skills Days for Beginners, 2 days
    1-2 October 2019, 10am -7pm both days

    Edinburgh Tool Library

    £100 for members, £130 for non-members

    Lunch is on your own

    Do you have an idea for an exhibit or demo that you'd like to make, but feel that you don't have the confidence, the skills or the facilities to make it? In this two day skills event, we'll show you how to use hand tools and woodworking machines to turn your idea into a useful prototype.

    In this Skills Day offering, we’ll spend two days in the workshop of the Edinburgh Tool Library working on our own projects. This event is aimed at people with little or no workshop experience, but independent working will be required. There will be experienced staff available to help you get the most out of the workshop and the two days. (If you already have some experience, check out our Intermediate-level event in July.) 

    The workshop is equipped for woodworking; drilling and hand-sawing metal is also possible. Don't worry if you haven't used some or all of the woodworking machines before - everyone will be given an induction on safety and machines’ capabilities.

    Preparation: Although this event is aimed at people with minimal experience, everyone should come with an exhibit or a demo idea in mind. You'll get the most out of the event if you do as much of the thinking as possible beforehand, so that you can get stuck into making straight away. We will discuss your idea with you in advance so that we can advise on any details that you're unsure of. This will help you arrive with an idea that has the best chance of being completed in the time available.

    In addition to tools and machines, we'll provide the basics: a collection of reclaimed timber, wood screws, and all the tools you'll need. For other materials and components, Screwfix and B&Q are not far away, but it will save you time if you do your shopping in advance.

    *Machines available:
    Band saw
    Chop saw ( 2x )
    Rail saw
    Router table
    Pillar drill press ( 2x )
    Belt sander

    Tools available:
    Circular Saw
    Heat gun
    And all the basic DIY tools (saws, hammers, screwdrivers etc) 

    About the session leader: Ben Craven

    Ben is a vision scientist by training, but now makes his living teaching Product Design Engineering at Glasgow School of Art, and gentle maths and stats for the Open University. He also does freelance work in informal science communication, and arranges efficient networking events.

    BIG members: cost £100 login as a member first to be able to register for the member rate. To login as a member, use the email address you used to join BIG. If you can't remember what this is, please email

    Non-members: you first need to join BIG costing £30 for the year and then come back and register for this Skills Day at the £100 member rate.

Past events

21 Jul 2019 Talking Maths in Public 2019 - BIG Partnership Bursary
17 Jul 2019 BIG Event 2019 (Non-Speakers)
17 Jul 2019 BIG Event 2019 (Speakers)
17 Jul 2019 What can we do to be better equality, diversity and inclusion allies?
15 Jul 2019 Exhibit Prototyping Skills Day - intermediate level, 2 days
24 Apr 2019 Bursary Application - BIG Event 2019
12 Feb 2019 Training Researchers in Public Engagement
24 Jan 2019 The Little Event 2019
03 Jan 2019 Training Researchers in Public Engagement Bursary Application - 2019
21 Nov 2018 The Little Event Bursary Application - 2019
17 Oct 2018 How to Develop a Training Session: a BIG Skills Day
18 Jul 2018 BIG Event 2018 (Non-Speakers)
18 Jul 2018 BIG Event 2018 (Speakers)
01 Jun 2018 Diversity in STEM Skills Day - SOLD OUT
17 Jan 2018 The Little Event 2018
13 Oct 2017 Digital Making
01 Sep 2017 BIG's 21st Birthday Party
19 Jul 2017 BIG Event 2017 (Speakers)
19 Jul 2017 BIG Event 2017 (Non-Speakers)
04 May 2017 The Power of Cryogenic Science to Inspire
18 Apr 2017 Bursary Application - BIG Event 2017
11 Jan 2017 The Little Event 2017
02 Dec 2016 Using Social Media to Communicate Science
20 Jul 2016 BIG Event 2016 (Non-Speakers)
20 Jul 2016 BIG Event 2016 (Speakers)
19 Apr 2016 Bursary Application - BIG Event 2016
13 Jan 2016 The Little Event 2016
24 Nov 2015 Working in University Outreach: How to Train Researchers
22 Jul 2015 BIG Event 2015 (Speakers)
22 Jul 2015 UKSFN Meeting
22 Jul 2015 BIG Event 2015 (Non-Speakers)
20 Apr 2015 Working in University Outreach: Skills for STEM Engagement
26 Jan 2015 Edinburgh Sci-comm Social
26 Jul 2014 SciComm Summer Picnic
23 Jul 2014 UK Science Festivals Network meeting
23 Jul 2014 BIG Event 2014 (Speakers)
23 Jul 2014 BIG Event 2014 (Non-Speakers)
11 Jul 2014 What’s so Special about STEM?
11 Jun 2014 Manchester Sci-comm Burrito
19 May 2014 BIG Ideas for Little People: Skills-Sharing for Early Years
07 May 2014 Manchester Sci-comm Burrito
08 Jan 2014 The Little Event 2014
22 Feb 2013 Sci Com-edy: Making Science Communication funny
07 Jan 2013 The Little Event 2013
25 Jul 2012 BIG Event 2012
08 May 2012 Maths Communication: Putting the M into STEM
02 Apr 2012 People Power: Engaging Audiences
17 Oct 2011 Advanced Audience Skills - Creating Astonishment
05 Sep 2011 The Little Event 2011
20 Jul 2011 BIG Event 2011
21 Feb 2011 Improvisation Skills Day
07 Sep 2010 The Little Event
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