Updated: Feb 12, 2021
Only by making creativity a daily habit can young people adopt such competencies as inherent. It is important to expose our young people to myriad disciplines so that they do not view the world in silos of academic subjects.
So, for example, if we consider a real-world problem of protecting and developing farming and agriculture as they form the basis of economies in several developing countries. We would encourage our students to look at weather patterns, employment figures and the political leadership of relevant countries. They also may consult reports from NASA that provide them with an understanding of the interconnected nature of space and earth.
Students may then come up with ideas relating to predictive technologies to help farmers and governments plan. These technological solutions can provide data about soil conditions, crop yields and rainfall which could be synchronised with machines used in fields to completely automate the farming process, reducing the dependency on manual labour.
Students could then explore the possibility that such space technology could help to solve other real-world problems such as using satellite imagery to identify mass atrocities, to enable governments to detect illegal fishing and shipping piracy, or small, low-cost satellites to provide complete Wi-Fi for the whole world, thus reducing inequitable access to the Internet.
Using systems thinking, students will be able to grasp clearly the fact that the world does not operate in discrete subject areas, but instead they will understand the interconnected nature of the world and the domino effect of innovation in multiple areas of life.
Staying on the theme of space, students may consider the issue of affordability of space travel and exploration. They may go through the ideation phase of the design thinking process by coming up with multiple ideas to try to uncover a more affordable way to get to spaThe key here is quantity as opposed to quality.
This is because it is thought that creative thinking comes about because we are open to possibilities.
Students are not afraid of noting seemingly fantastical ideas because this is a numbers game.
If students come up with 30 ideas, one, at least, is going to be workable. This builds the characteristic of resilience or grit because they will fail and they will not crumble because an environment of perseverance will prevail.
This is especially notable in a classroom environment in which all students are vulnerable while exploring their creativity. So, for example, they might come up with the idea of a space elevator where a cable is anchored to the surface of a planet extending into space. This may seem outlandish, and yet NASA recently reported that this basic concept is sound, but someone had to come up with this astonishing idea in the first place. (in 1895 if not earlier, NASA reports).