Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Angelina deems Midi-Me and her cohorts responsible for solving the energy crisis, fixing inequality and averting world war (while she does yoga and gets a facial.)

Mummy on the Edge
Families North West London Magazine
November/ December 2016

You might wake every morning, pick up your phone, as I do, and start reading news headlines, realising in horror that we are within inches of handing the White House keys to a malevolent misogynist. You might, as I do, slide your feet into your knackered hotel slippers, pad into the kitchen and and do a double take out the window into the garden – no, it wasn’t a red nose, just a red rose swaying in the wind. You might, as I do, type “GBP to Euro” into the google daily and watch in wonderment as the pound floats down, down, like a single long-dead leaf blown off a brittle winter branch by a freezing breeze.  You might, as I do, watch footage of Syrian children in Aleppo and Calais and feel heartbroken and not know how to help.

You might, after all that, wonder if the world is going to hell in a handbag. Well I’m here to tell you it is not. Even though it may feel like it is (sometimes). So before you go back to bed and pull the covers over your head and wonder why you ever decided to procreate and contribute to the overpopulation of the world, remember this: Amongst the generations of mini and midi-mes that we and our families and friends and neighbours have produced are inventors, scientists, writers, artists, farmers, botanists, food technologists, researchers, medics, leaders of the future. They are going to sort all these messes out... hopefully…  aided by Moore’s Law.

Okay, I will try to explain (with the help of Wikipedia): Moore’s Law is something to do with the exponential development of technology by way of the doubling of transistors in a dense integrated circuit every two years or so. Don’t worry, I barely know what I’m talking about either. But think of it as the reason that your current smartphone is millions of times more powerful than all of NASA’s computing power in 1969 (source: zmescience.com). I watched this 20-minute TED talk from 2012 called “Abundance is our future” by Peter Diamandis and he made it sound like it’s all going to be alright because innovations will make it so. And, into this innovatory, technological mix I add… our progeny.

The Smallpeice Trust is a Charity which provides residential courses in science, technology and engineering to boys and girls from the age of 12 right up to 18 with the help of sponsors and universities. There is a shortage of girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) fields which organisations like The Smallpeice Trust are helping to redress. Midi-Me and her best friend were duly (and dually) shipped off to Warwick University at the end of the summer term, where they attended a 4 day “Girls into Engineering” course. By happy coincidence, the dates corresponded with a fantastic deal on a Champneys spa break which I found on Secret Escapes. But I digress…

The girls lived in halls at the university, attended workshops and lectures and worked on projects set by project partners like Transport for London, a nuclear engineering organisation and other companies. There were female guest speakers providing insight and inspiration about careers in engineering and a big formal dinner at the end. I know all this because when I picked them up at the end they were bouncing up and down and uncharacteristically ready to impart information.  I’m really hoping that this whetted their appetite for actual proper University, being that they’ve got to learn stuff in order to be able to save the world and all that.

Many universities and colleges run events and holiday courses for school age children and we attended an open day at Imperial College a couple of years ago which, thinking about it now, may have been the engineering seed I planted in her head (mwah ha ha). I will be looking for more spa breaks courses for her. If you also want to manipulate your children into your chosen career path, follow me and I’ll share my findings with you.  

mynotesfromtheedge.blogspot.com * facebook.com/angelinamelwani * twitter @appleina *Instagram @mynotesfromtheedge *


So blimey, if my parents had sent me on one of the below when I was a child, I would be running Chloe or performing heart surgery today, not sitting at my dining table typing lists of courses for people to dream about sending their kids to.

Introductory STEM Courses
Smallpeice Trust: Residential courses in STEM. Sometimes part funded by Companies and Government Agencies (like GCHQ). Occasionally fully funded courses become available.

Imperial College London Residential and Non Residential Sumer Schools for years 9 to 12 in STEM.

Coding and technology/ robotics
Fire Tech Camp “Fire Tech Camp gives children and teenagers the opportunity to create with technology through a series of exciting and innovative holiday camps, weekend courses and workshops.” Tech and coding courses of various lengths at various locations in London incuding Hampstead. It’s mostly non-residential from what I can see. The day course is £110. They have longer options too.

Bermotech “Bermotech is a London-based training company, offering a range of programming and mobile app development courses. Our courses are targeted at students of all ages and abilities, from beginners who are coding for the first time, to established computer programmers with years of experience. We also provide corporate training solutions.”
 This looks interesting if you want your kid to design their own best selling game and for it to sell well and pay their university fees. It says no laptops required – they provide them.   Based in Finchley Road. Upcoming December 5 day course for £400. They do term time courses too on Sundays.

Other courses
Intelligence Squared Debating Course Every so often I get an email about this 2 day course. It’s quite expensive but it does sound brilliant.  
http://www.thecomedyschool.com/summer.shtml Ages 8 - 13 Comedy course in Camden.

Events to attend with your teens both STEM and for general mind-expansion
Imperial College London Events and Talks Not specifically for teens but there are many talks and lectures on all the time about interesting subjects to do with STEM. Many are free, some paid; all require reservation in advance. There’s also the terrific yearly Imperial Festival, a weekend dedicated to sharing the best science and arts on offer from Imperial, with talks, events, exhibits for everyone, old and young. I wrote about this a couple of years ago here: http://mynotesfromtheedge.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/science-fun-in-town.html

The Big Bang:The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair is the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) for young people in the UK. The Big Bang Fair is an award-winning combination of exciting theatre shows, interactive workshops and exhibits and careers information from STEM professionals. Next year's Fair will be held at The NEC, Birmingham 15-18 March 2017. We aim to show young people (primarily aged 7-19) the exciting and rewarding opportunities out there for them with the right experience and qualifications, by bringing classroom learning to life.”
Intelligence Squared Debates Super interesting range of events and talks around £15 quid a ticket with well-known names debating issues and current affairs. Plus coming in Feb the Intelligence Squared Festival : “a one-day deep dive into the world’s most thrilling ideas and technologies, featuring pioneers from all over the world exploring what’s happening right now across a raft of areas.Videos and podcasts available on their website and some on Youtube.

The Royal Society of Arts “RSA Events include over 100 free public lectures, talks, debates and screenings a year”. Their talks cover science, economics, culture, behaviour and are broadcast live on the website and on youtube.

Other useful websites
http://www.studentladder.co.uk/ Just found this website with lots of links, careers advice and work experience advice for students GCSEs and up.

https://www.exscitec.com/news/index.asp “Exscitec is passionate about enabling all students to engage in the hands-on practical application of STEM, vital to encouraging a scientifically literate population and inspiring the scientists of the future.” On their website currently they have listed a Year 11/12 Medical Taster Day at Northwick Park Hospital. You can join their mailing list for more info about other courses in STEM as and when they become available.

University taster courses for year 12s. This page contains a useful search tool.

http://www.summer-schools.info/The UK's biggest directory of Summer Schools and Summer Courses in the UK in 2016.” (That’s what it says on the website anyway; I wouldn’t assume it has everything on it)

Fashion Courses
http://www.arts.ac.uk/fashion/courses/short-courses/under-18/ “Our unique programme of short fashion courses and residential summer schools for 14 - 18 year olds, is delivered throughout the summer from June to August, allowing you to experiment with new techniques, build confidence, acquire new skills and be inspired to learn more.” Includes non residential for 16 – 18 year olds in FASHION BUSINESS AND MEDIA, PHOTOGRAPHY AND STYLING, DESIGN AND GARMENT PRODUCTION, MAKEUP. Also RESIDENTIAL SUMMER SCHOOLS for 14 – 16 year olds


Residential Summer School. No price listed. I imagine it’s probably absolute bucks but find out and tell me.  

Vogue Teen Weekend  "The Vogue Teen Weekend is a two-day programme suitable for sixteen and seventeen year olds. This weekend course offers a unique view of the fashion industry via the lens of British Vogue." The next one's in July and costs £522. 

Ok I’ve actually had enough now and need a coffee. But I promise if I find any more I will add them to the page so bookmark it or something.

Goodbye for now. J

10/01/2017 Look! I found more!

http://www.roundhouse.org.uk/young-creatives/list Young Creatives at The Roundhouse, Camden: Loads of creative/ media opportunities including radio, DJing, broadcasting, performing arts and MORE.

http://www.ncsyes.co.uk/ncs-for-your-teen National Citizen Service (NCS) is a 2-4 week programme for 16 to 18 year olds *costing no more than £50* which takes place outside of term time in the spring, summer and autumn holidays. Your teenager will develop the skills that employers increasingly value: confidence, leadership and independence. UCAS recommends students put NCS in their personal statement.


  1. i'm sure your parents did the best they could, LOL

    1. Indeed. I'm sorry just saw your comment today. Thanks for reading and commenting :)