Curiosity: Launch 2016
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Curiosity: Launch 2016

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A planning book for creating a conference to inspire students to pursue curiosity in their lives, side by side with industry professionals and educators.

A planning book for creating a conference to inspire students to pursue curiosity in their lives, side by side with industry professionals and educators.

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Curiosity: Launch 2016 Curiosity: Launch 2016 Document Transcript

  • L AUNCH 2016
  • In an age of Google and Big Data, we need thinkers—those who know what to do with all of this information. Humans still have the market on thinking; there isn’t an algorithm for it yet. Important twenty-first century skills are creativity CULTIVATING CREATIVITY & CURIOSITY WITH STEM Ainissa Ramirez and curiosity, critical thinking and problem solving and collaborative and communication skills—the 5Cs. These are skills that artists and scientists use all the time. These twenty-first century skills are innate to children, but they are often “educated” out. Every school year, millions of five-year-olds enter kindergarten armed with creativity and curiosity, When it comes to learning in the twenty-first century, many schools have it upside-down; many want you to memorize the correct answers. Worldclass learners of the twenty-first century, however, need to know how to figure things out, and this requires using the skills of artists and scientists. Artists and scientists are not too different from but somewhere along the way, they are lost. Picasso each other. Both groups use trial-and-error, need once said, “Every child is an artist. The problem patience, apply imagination, are friends with failure, is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” We possess curiosity and draw on creativity. These need to bring these skills back. elements are part of the artist’s palette and the Artists and scientists could take a scientist’s toolkit. Artists and scientists both know leadership role in showing how to that the human endeavor is about discovery, which present these skills to children. If is often accompanied by revising and improving schools cannot show them these upon an idea. Having the right answer does not have skills, then the rest of us must. the premium it once had now that Google exists. The mantra that knowledge is power is now dead. Information is everywhere and cheap. “These twenty-first century skills are innate to children, but they are often ‘educated’ out.” A PERSONAL JOURNEY Keeping kids creative is not just a moral imperative but an economic one. We do not have a crystal ball, but we do know that the careers, opportunities and challenges of the future will require creative problem solvers. And, from my vantage as a scientist, one of the best ways to encourage creativity and curiosity is by improving Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education. STEM requires creativity to discover new things and stokes the fires of curiosity with one question leading to another.
  • space or studio. Get their hands dirty doing something fun (while teaching them along the In the tradition of Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan, way). Make kid-friendly descriptions of what Neil Degrasse Tyson and Bill Nye, there need to be scientists to inspire our youth and the next generation with STEM. After a decade of working in academia, I took a leap and traded in my science-professor hat for a sciencepopularizer one. I became a science evangelist to get kids excited. STEM is inherently fun, but schools are too constrained or unable to show that. In response, I developed a short video series called Material Marvels to showcase cool materials concepts once they are drawn in. In the series Science Xplained, I make videos about general science topics, such as the physics of football. I’ve learned from this exercise that kids (and adults) want to understand; they just need information to be presented in an approachable and engaging way. NEXT STEPS? To improve schools, both artists and at work, like solar cells, nanomaterials and scientists must take part in the conversation. space shuttle tiles. In these videos, I try to We need all hands on deck to get children hook audiences with big demonstrations (often excited about learning. One way we can all get with a blowtorch) and then teach the science involved is to show the importance of creativity and curiosity in our work. Creative parents “STEM is inherently fun, but schools are too constrained or unable to show that.” you do. If you are creative and have STEM leanings, consider writing a children’s book on science, create engaging posters, images or videos or put science in your performance or piece. We must give children ways to nurture their curiosity and creativity at every opportunity possible. Supporting children who think and create is our best legacy. “Creative parents beget creative children. If children see that creativity is valued, they will try to emulate it.” beget creative children. If children see that creativity is valued, they will try to emulate it. Being surrounded by creative activities makes Ainissa Ramirez (@blkgrlphd) is a science evangelist who is passionate about getting kids of all ages excited about the subject. Before taking creativity seem less foreign and less onerous. on this call, she was an associate professor of mechanical engineering If you are creative, expose children to your at Yale University. She has spoken at TED on the importance of STEM creative endeavors. Invite them to your tinker education and authored an accompanying book called Flip this Class (TED books). Currently, she is writing a book on the science behind football with sportswriter and New York Times best-selling author Allen St. John entitled Newton’s Football (ballantine books).
  • HOW? IS TO ENGAGE AND INSPIRE STUDENTS, EDUCATORS, AND PROFESSIONALS TO PURSUE CURIOSITY AND CREATIVITY TOGETHER... ...and for them to inspire their peers. By creating, running, and maintaining a conference designed to engage our audience with creativity and curiosity head on. DUNBAR’S NUMBER... ... suggests that every person has between 100 and 230 people that they have influence over. If we can engage 200 people, then we can indirectly engage nearly 50,000 people. From there... the possibilities are endless.
  • WHAT’S THE PLAN? 2. 1. GATHER A COMMITTED TEAM WHO WILL STAND BY AND SEE THE VISION THROUGH COMPLETION. CAST AND SPREAD VISION SO THAT PEOPLE CAN EASILY GET ON BOARD AND ORGANIZE IT. 3. WRITE AND ENACT A FORMAL BUSINESS PLAN TO ENSURE THAT OUR OPERATION IS COVERED AND ORGANIZED.
  • 4. PROMOTE THE FIRST CONFERENCE TO A TARGET GROUP IN OUR CHOSEN LOCATION AND GET SPONSORS ON BOARD TO HELP FUND THE EVENT. 5. HOLD THE FIRST EVER LAUNCH CONFERENCE TO INSPIRE CURIOSITY!