Schools today are unknowingly fighting a creativity crisis. In 1966 the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking was developed to understand creativity and predict creative achievement in the future. Since 1990, our students creativity scores have plummeted, and they haven’t turned back upwards yet. The simple definition of creativity is the production of something original and useful and if our students are not able to be the innovators of the futures, who will fill the void? Creativity is a skill that needs to be nurtured in our students and below are a few ways to get started!
Engineering STEM Bins
Makerspaces are great at allowing students to develop their creativity however what do you do when you don’t have enough room for a Makerspace? This STEM Strategy from teachers in Kansas City, MO is a great space saver Makerspace. Have bins on hand with different types of building and miscellaneous objects for students to create their brightest ideas! You can even turn STEM Bins into STEM backpacks to go home on the weekend!
Check out this space-saving Makerspace idea here: STEM Strategies that Works: STEM Bins
Science Fair Central Maker Corner
The maker spirit is all about “learning-through-doing”. Infuse this spirit into your classrooms with standards-aligned, hands-on activities designed to encourage exploration and spark curiosity with your students. Though students are working towards similar end-products, creativity is in the way they reach and design their solution. Also, check into your local Home Depot and share information with your students on the next Home Depot Kids Workshop! Kids Workshops provide a mix of skill-building, creativity, and safety for future DIYers every month in Home Depot stores across the country.
Build a DIY attitude with your students here: Science Fair Central Maker Corner
Visible Thinking Routines
Were you ever told, or have you ever struggled to get students to “Show your work!” This flexible framework for enhancing learning while fostering students’ intellectual development can help students see the “why” and the “how.” Visible Thinking includes attention to four “thinking ideals” — understanding, truth, fairness, and creativity. Visible Thinking emphasizes several ways of making students’ thinking visible to themselves and one another so that they can improve it.
Begin to develop your student’s visible thinking with these strategies: Visible Thinking Routines
Creativity is meant to be shared! Help give your students a voice and a way to express their ideas in this powerful video challenge. Social action is a huge part of STEM and through this teen driving PSA, students are given an opportunity to harness their creativity to make the world a better place. Entries are due by February 28th! Check out the winning video from 2017:
What drives your student’s creativity? Give them a chance to find out here: TeenDrive365 in School Video Challenge
Instructables is a social resource site created by a group from MIT built to connect the skills in the Arts and in tinkering with Makerspace ideas for every content and topic. In education, we often try to turn Makerspaces into science labs; however, there is so much more to the idea of “Making” than just science. Sewing, welding, cooking, hardware-software & app development, all go hand-in-hand with the Design Process in MakedEd. Instructables provide project ideas for all these realms of making. The most STEMciting part of Instructables though is that they offer free online classes to teach these STEAM skills so that students or educators don’t have to let a lack of “knowing how” stand in the way of curiosity and inspiration.
Check out their projects and ideas; or learn a new skill here: Instructables Classes
Literature Inspires Creativity
Growing up, I can remember many of my favorite books were the ones that allowed me to create my own worlds, ideas, and pictures in my head. Imagination and creativity go hand-in-hand and unlocking a students imagination is a critical step in developing their creativity. Students of any age can realize the value of their own thinking after reading stories of innovation and creativity! Not a Box and Not a Stick (both by Antoinette Portis) are two books that help show students how to think about the world through a lens of imagination. The Dot and Ish by Peter H Reynolds both build confidence in creativity with students which is critical to their ability to bring innovations to life.
Ignite My Future
Ignite My Future in School provides a comprehensive set of resources seamlessly integrating the principles of computational thinking across the curriculum. The skills used in computational thinking (as well as in coding) directly develop both critical thinking and creativity. Recognizing and developing patterns, creatively solving problems, and expressing ideas in alternative ways to connect to the world are what will be vital in developing the innovators of the future.
Explore ways to develop computational thinking and creativity across the curriculum: Ignite My Future at School