Courses Spark Middle Schoolers’ Creativity

Seattle, WA (March 19, 2008) – Middle school students from around the Pacific Northwest will converge on the University of Washington campus this summer for two intensive weeks of toymaking, creativity and invention led by Rick Hartman, ‘The Teaching Toymaker.’

The twin courses, running the weeks of June 23 and July 14, offer students entering grades 6-8 the chance to build and experiment with toys from around the world, invent gadgets and gizmos of their own, and learn about patents, the toy business, and creativity.

“I’m thrilled to be working with the University of Washington again,” said Hartman, whose weeklong course last summer, “The Serious Fun of Toy Design,” was filled to capacity with enthusiastic participants.

“It was really cool,” said Crystal, 13, one of last year’s students. “I learned that I actually like to invent my own toys.”

Echoed classmate Zach, “Toymaking was definitely the best summer camp I’ve been to.”

Hartman explains that his classes are about more than just toys. “They’re about tapping the creative potential in all of us, about the science and art of design, and of course, about having fun.”

In addition to offering a repeat of last year’s program this summer, Hartman and UW have added a follow-up program called “The Serious Fun of Gears, Gadgets and Gizmos.”

“Gears and Gadgets will pick up where ‘Toymaking’ leaves off,” explains Hartman. “We’ll be building contraptions using motors, battery packs and practical engineering know-how to create truly fascinating mechanical marvels.”

Hartman is an inventor and former teacher whose products have sold around the world. He’s appeared on The Tonight Show, The Discovery Channel and MTV, and his educational workshops have been featured at museums around North America including the Smithsonian Institution and Science World BC.

For more information on Rick Hartman’s “School of Toy,” visit his website,