Innovation and creativity are skills that are crucial for human beings. They are skills that can e developed within people. Be it as individuals or members of the work force, creative thinking and problem solving skills are always necessary since these skills are essential for STEM, social, and emotional intelligence. Unfortunately, the significance of creativity is undervalued today. Today’s dismal situation that discourages innovation and creativity in students, and the imminent need to encourage kids to become creative, has been discussed in a previous article. This article is going to look at how one can inspire students to innovate and how exactly STEM helps to do so.
The most important step in encouraging creativity is to add an element of play and fun in learning. When children enjoy learning, not only do they engage readily in it, but they will be brave to question and explore what they are learning. Adding fun to play will encourage them to take risks during study and also to not fear mistakes. This last part is very important for encouraging creativity. Students today are taught to give the right answers rather than learn. However, when students make mistakes, they learn from mistakes much more than they do from successes. Being brave enough to take risks and being patient enough to learn from their mistakes is important to cultivate a passion for their studies. When students come across obstacles and fail in their attempts, they think about what they have done. This brings out their innate curiosity and leads them to question about it.
Questioning their studies is part of, and a result of understanding what the students are studying. The more students understand, the more they become curious and the more they question. Curiosity keeps the thirst for knowledge alive and ensures that the passion for learning and creating does not die out. A child’s mind is limitless and always exploring. It should be allowed to explore and question without limits. Children often think up brilliant and unprecedented solutions to their problems thanks to their limitless imagination. Hence observing, questioning, learning and questioning again should be encouraged within the students. Since STEM subjects are ever growing subjects, the students only get more engaged as they delve deeper into their studies.
Encouraging children to find answers by themselves is yet another significant approach to encourage innovation. Giving students ready made answers makes them receptors dependent on the informant. But thinking up answers to their problems, makes them creative and independent. Another added benefit of STEM subjects is that they support this development. No STEM problem has a single solution, and students should be encouraged to find as many solutions as they can. There are many ways to reach the answer, and the students can find different ways. This again makes the children think about what they are learning and develops their thinking and analyzing skills.
STEM education integrates these above mentioned steps in its curriculum and hence promotes innovative and creative skills. STEM education begins early and continues to encourage productive thinking throughout schooling. It provides a learning environment that supports exploration and engages students in their studies. Students are encouraged to actively participate in class and take part in team work and brainstorming sessions. These make learning a fun and memorable experience that redefines the concept of studying. Students part of this curriculum are encouraged to voice their ideas and not fear judgment. All ideas are encouraged equally. Since mistakes are also considered a part of learning, students have nothing to fear and everything to gain. Since creativity is encouraged, students become brave to experiment and act out their ideas. Through the hands on activities, students get the opportunity to do science rather than read science. They create their ideas and work upon them. They deal with real life challenges and learn through them. Innovation and creativity is celebrated and rewarded and this is always encouragement for the children.
Encouraging innovation is therefore a very simple process made of simple, yet crucial steps. STEMChamp seamlessly incorporates these procedures into its everyday curriculum to ensure a wholesome development of students. By understanding the significance of how their studies affect their daily lives, and by incorporating creativity into every moment of their studies, the students get a meaningful, but the same time a very fun and engaging learning experience.
1. 5 Ways To Encourage Kids To Grow Up To Be Innovators- by Gwen Moran (https://www.fastcompany.com)
2. 5 Ways You Can Encourage Your Kids To Become Innovators- by Jessica Stillman (http://www.inc.com)
3. Creativity: An Essential Component in STEM Learning- by Dr. Julia Roberts (http://www.wise-qatar.org)