Exploring Write Size with inventor Ross Williams
November 29, 2016
We caught up with Write Size to find out what it was like for their inventor Ross Williams to present the products in the Dragons’ Den, and how maths and science were key to creating their range of writing pencils for children…
It sounds like a bad dream. Standing in front of five people and having to explain yourself whilst they fire difficult questions back at you, packed full of numbers and finances, designed to put you in the spotlight.
This is what happened to Ross Williams.
The inventor took his business, Write Size, onto BBC hit-show Dragons’ Den and kept his nerve, battling the fire-breathing entrepreneurs with St George guile, wit and steely determination.
Write Size manufacture pint-sized pencils to give children the best start in school and help them cement the fundamental building blocks that secure the rest of their future.
Quality reading and writing may be the obvious by-product to Write Size’s correctly sized pencils, but the creation of these education essentials lies in both mathematics and science.
Here lies the clever bit; creating the ideal tool is all about balance.
As with diet, jumping on an aeroplane and standing on one leg, making sure writing is comfortable, enjoyable and easy is all based on balance.
To explain this, we’re going to have to transport you back to the beginning of the formation of the humblest tool in your pencil case; a pen.
Trials and tribulations with sticks, feathers and quills over years and years formed the foundation of what we would call the modern day pen.
Everyone has a favourite pen, because it feels like a part of your hand when you pick it up out of your over-filled pot that sits on your desk or a doodled-on pencil case.
And the way you hold that pen, be it a £1 ballpoint or a £3m diamond encrusted fountain pen, never changes.
Why you ask? It’s simple really. Because they are all the same length, all of them, no matter who makes them.
And why is that?
The forces acting upon the pencil must be perfectly balanced to achieve optimum use, limiting (in the case of Write Size Pencils) wriggling, squirming and discomfort in tiny fingertips. This is known as inertia, where all forces are acting upon a given object equally.
Balance is achieved by the centre of gravity, which will constantly adapt on movement. The lower the centre of gravity to its contact point, the more stable the object will be.
Moving a tall object with a high centre of gravity is easier, but means it’s uncontrollable. In case of our pencil, it means more force must be used to move it.
This is where scaling comes in. For a child to take a free kick like David Beckham with a full-sized ball, for a child to play a full-sized trumpet like Ray Charles, the amount of effort and force needed is unimaginable and, dare I say it, near impossible.
If all these points are correct, then why do we give a vital learning tool to youngsters that is twice the size of their hand?
Let’s do the maths here
Getting a child to write their name using industry standard pencils, on average around 7.5 inches tall, using hands around 50% smaller than an adults, would require twice the force.
Twice the force also means twice the concentration due to the lack of balance. The lack of balance means children must hold the pencil higher up, meaning a lack of control which can result in poor writing.
Ever heard the phrase ‘I’m tired of writing’ or ‘It’s hurting my hand to write, can we stop?’ from your little ones?
We all have
Write Size Pencils are made to the mean average of children’s hands, ensuring not only quality writing, but comfort for children makes writing enjoyable. Children can once again concentrate on their imagination running wild, rather than writing being a chore.
This core skill is honed, cherished and tended to properly, with focus on creativity and understanding rather than over working the skill. We believe, and our research shows that, on current teaching, writing takes six years to learn.
With Write Size, writing can take up to 17% of that time. That’s just 12 months to secure your children’s future.
What have you got to lose? Write Size are providing tools to ensure quality writing, every time and removing the stumbling blocks that currently stand between children and educational success.
Our parents tried out the range of Write Size products and shared their experiences with us – worth a read if you’re thinking of trying out the pencils! Go to the blog post
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