Imagination Leads To Invention

Frankiesgirl(Photo by Frankie Flood)

“Imagination has brought mankind through the Dark Ages to its present state of civilization. Imagination led Columbus to discover America. Imagination led Franklin to discover electricity. Imagination has given us the steam engine, the telephone, the talking-machine and the automobile, for these things had to be dreamed of before they became realities. So I believe that dreams – day dreams, you know, with your eyes wide open and your brain-machinery whizzing – are likely to lead to the betterment of the world. The imaginative child will become the imaginative man or woman most apt to create, to invent, and therefore to foster civilization.”  – L. Frank Baum

Recently, one of our members – Frankie Flood – shared a blog post of images of his little girl, helping him to string some fingers on one of the hands he is creating for a little boy name Karuna. A few days later, he shared that she had asked her mother for “A thing that gets tighter” for her birthday – AKA a Bench Vice.

While this is undoubtedly adorable – it got me thinking about the fact that I see it as adorable…instead of normal.

Why aren’t we spending more time teaching our children about science, engineering, math in nature, chemistry, how their body systems work, how to use tools and create…instead of sitting around the computer together, watching Youtube Videos of animals doing silly pet tricks?

dryicefun-4(photo by Jen Owen)

Wouldn’t it be amazing if …families purchased 3D printers (or built one!) and sat down together to learn how to use math and technology…to create and design things – that could very well end up making a difference in the World someday?

Wouldn’t it be incredible if we found a way to help schools get 3D printers into every science classroom? Imagine how many brilliant and useful…possibly even life changing – ideas – are stuck inside of a 3rd grader’s mind and they have no way to test it or refine it or share it?

Maybe using 3D design software to help create “The best  Pinewood Derby Car the Cub Scout Troop has ever laid eyes on” won’t do much but improve their chances of winning and gaining bragging rights for the year – but 10 years from now, maybe that experience will have encouraged even one of them to invent the “Greenest” car on the Planet and make a difference somehow?

hcl2014-19(Photo by Jen Owen)

What we teach our children now…what we get them excited about…is important. Not just for them – but for the future.

While focusing on teaching them about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) is important…it is equally important to model for them, ways  to use their talents and skills to help better the lives of others.

Maybe your children aren’t helping to string 3D printed fingers for a hand for a little boy that was born with missing fingers…(yet)…but what is stopping you from spending the afternoon with your child, watching their imaginations soar and create in ways you didn’t even know were possible?

Maybe what they come up with will never get past the sketching phase, maybe it will never make it to a prototype and maybe it will never do anything but sit in a note pad or as a file on your computer – but maybe one of their “Silly ideas” will result in devices that could save lives someday or help the Blind to Read or maybe just to bring the world some cool joy on a hot day…and wouldn’t it be shame not to explore that potential?

Robot(Photo by Jen Owen)