Innovation is all about new ideas, methods or products. Innovation is developed through the creative thinking process. At this stage in your child’s life, you can empower your child to innovate by encouraging them to dream big, be creative, and have fun. Even if they find out that their big ideas aren’t feasible, they can be proud of their creativity.
Innovation is often cultivated during group discussions and brainstorming. There is only so far you can get as a “lone ranger.” Sometimes simply talking through your ideas with someone else can help lead you to new ideas. Everybody sees the world around them through different filters that connect them to different experiences that they’ve had in the past and that they seek in the future.
Consider encouraging your child to work with a classmate on their Science & Engineering Fair for the ultimate innovative experience. The diversity of each team member’s “brain filters” is what generates innovative ideas and solutions. Besides, most people will agree that there are few skills more important to learn in life than effective teamwork. Teamwork skills can help your child develop healthy relationships at home, in the office and among social groups.
Innovation on the day of your school’s Science & Engineering Fair is not about students demonstrating their ability to follow the “The Scientific Method.” There is no innovation in your child following step-by-step either what you tell them to do or what a published project outlines for them. This is especially true if they subsequently claim that work as their own. By just following a recipe without adding their own ideas to the project can foster insecurity in your child’s ability to do a project themselves.
Children are naturally innovative. Encourage them to dream – big!