Are children really more creative than their parents? Sure! But now what?

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If you search the first question on-line, you will see hundreds of sites concluding with a resounding, “Yes!” There will also be countless sites telling you how to encourage creativity in your children. (Here, one answer seems to be less schooling!) My questions then become: Why aren’t we taking more advantage of this creativity? Why aren’t there more child inventors? If a key characteristic in certain creative industries, like product design and IT, is to maintain a child-like imagination, then why can’t we just ask actual children?

Chester Greenwood (Age 15) – Earmuffs

Before you hit back with child labor laws, etc., here’s a story showing “10 Great Inventions Dreamt Up by Children.” Here’s another story with the title, “Crazy Kids’ Inventions Turned Into Real Products” with the video version here.

Cassidy Goldstein (Age 12) – Crayon Holders

WHY children are more creative

Out of all the research explaining WHY children are more creative than adults, the one I found the most compelling was by Alison Gopnik, psychology professor at Berkeley in this TED talk. She refers to the work of evolutionary biologists. Humans have an exceptionally long childhood to resolve the “intrinsic tension” between the need to finding the simplest, quickest solutions (adults) versus the need to explore to find alternative solutions (kids). (Any parent trying to get socks on their children will know what Gopnik means.) In short, evolution has designed humans to give them a chance to explore as children before maturing into efficient, problem solving machines as adults.

The next step

But getting back to my earlier questions, why aren’t we working more with children in the creative industries? (Wikipedia notes these nine but there are more.) In my view, one answer is likely the cost of innovation. R&D budgets can be a real drag on profitability for companies. They fund research staff as well the proto-typing. But I think you know what I will say next: 3D printing technology is lowering proto-typing costs. Now, anyone, including children, can also explore new design ideas.

Parents! It’s time to bond with our kids to see where their creativity can take us in the creative industries! Your child might be on a list of inventors in the near future.

More to come in upcoming blogs.

 

 

Love them or fear them, we parents need to keep an eye on them robots

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My six-year-old daughter will likely join the workforce in the next 15 years or so. Of course, it’s not a good thing to over-manage neither her life nor her career, but what’s a parent to do when we see recent headlines like these about robots?

Economist magazine: Will robots displace humans as motorised vehicles ousted horses?

BBC: Robots to affect up to 30% of UK jobs, says PwC.

 

Love them or fear them, robots are here to stay and their abilities are growing exponentially. We are already seeing early versions of self-driving cars, delivery drones on land and in the air, and, yes, robotic baby sitters.

The PwC report provided some details with these statistics.

– 30% of existing jobs in the UK were potentially at a high risk of automation, compared with 38% in the US, 35% in Germany and 21% in Japan.

– Jobs at high risk from automation:

Transportation and storage – 56%

Manufacturing – 46%

Wholesale and retail trade – 44%

Administrative and support services – 37%

Financial and insurance – 32%

Professional, scientific and technical – 26%

Construction – 24%

Arts and entertainment – 22%

Agriculture, forestry and fishing – 19%

Human health and social work – 17%

Education – 9%

Source: PwC

 

Both reports and articles stressed the importance of educating the workforce to ensure future workers can find jobs. But as a parent of a six-year-old, here are some simple actions that I’m doing, for and with my daughter in the coming years:

  1. Keep an eye on the latest developments. Wherever you source your news, spend at least a few hours a week looking through the science and technology section. If you have not been doing this, you will be very surprised what you come across!
  1. Attend STEAM events with your family. Family friendly STEAM fairs are now available in cities around the world with hundreds of thousands of attendees during these multi-day events. One of the biggest is the Maker Faire, but many schools run science fairs as well. Kids love the hands-on workshops. (In fact, we at 3D Roundhouse will have another booth at the Hong Kong Maker Faire this Saturday and Sunday April 8-9, 2017!)
  1. Take some STEAM workshops with your child. Whether it’s coding, robotics or 3D printing, there is no reason why parents can’t also learn along with their children. Over the past year, 3D Roundhouse has hosted dozens of workshops where parents and their children learn 3D modeling for 3D printing together. You can learn more about our workshops here.

Personally, I believe our children will find peaceful ways to coexist with robots. But as parents, we need to ensure our children can develop the wisdom to use this new technology in a proper and responsible way. The best way to do so is to understand what robots are and how they work. Working with your children to become more knowledgeable about the STEAM fields is a really great way to do so.

C.I.C. (Curiosity, Imagination and Creativity) is the best asset for our kids

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Hi Parents!

Do you remember the good old days? When we used to print with one 3D printer at a time? It was far away in the past: in November 2016!!!

I am not kidding! It is amazing how faster and faster things are moving. And you know what? I think the acceleration of the change has accelerated 😊 a lot in a few months.

I give you one example right away. In my November 2016 article “Parents, Simple And Effective Experiences To Do Good For Your Children’s Future”, I talked about a company named Carbon. At the beginning of 2016 they presented a revolutionary 3D printer: the M1. The speed and quality of the print were amazing. A few months later, as I was writing about them, they were almost overtaken by competitors.

Since my article, only four months ago, Carbon has improved a lot its products. They just launched a revolutionary 3D printing system you can scale up at will: The Carbon Speedcell™.

START YOUR OWN 3D PRINTING FACTORY

“Stop prototyping. Start producing” is the slogan you can see on the front page on their website. The idea is to use from one to as many as you need M1 or the new M2 3D printer, add one or several Smart Part Washer (a machine able to clean up 3D printed models very fast) and you can start your own 3D printing factory anywhere you want. You can print with many different materials. Soft, hard, high temperature resistant and many, many more.

NewPro3D was the “opponent” of Carbon in my former article. What will be their answer to the Carbon Speedcell? I don’t know yet. They have an impressive ILI technology (Intelligent Liquid Interface) to play with to create amazing 3D printers but nothing appears on their website. Maybe a surprise in a few months? A few weeks? A few days? Tomorrow???

These new technologies give us new possibilities. Somebody will have to come up with new ideas. Our kids could do it.

APPLY THE C.I.C. METHOD

Things are moving so fast now. Being able to find the right information or idea at the right time AND being able to use it appropriately is a skill more and more looked after in the professional world. New problems need new solutions.

Dads and mums, keep nurturing and improving the Curiosity, Imagination and Creativity of your sons and daughters. It will allow them to make the difference with the crowd when they will face new services or products. Curiosity, Imagination and Creativity will help them to come up with new solutions when new problems, or opportunities, will stand in front of them. They will become the go-to person in their companies.

 

Parents, keep up the good job!

PARENTS, THE SCARY TRUTH ABOUT THE FUTURE EMPLOYABILITY OF YOUR CHILDREN

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Your child already has a professional problem

Your child already has a problem with his job. “What???” are you thinking, ”My child is still at school. How is it possible that he already has a problem with his job?” 

PROBLEM NUMBER 1:

Think about it. About 98% of CEOs and HR managers have already huge difficulties to find the employees they are craving for (and at all skill levels!). They find lots of applicants with technical proficiency but most of them lack the skills required for success in the labor market of the 21st century at all employment levels and in all sectors.

PROBLEM NUMBER 2:

Furthermore, a bigger problem is coming, something that will be a major earthquake in the years to come. According to studies in many countries, up to 65% of the jobs that will be available in less than 10 years have not been invented yet. It is a major problem for every country and everybody. From CEOs and HR managers to schools, students and parents. Can you imagine what the situation will be when your children will enter the work market? It will be even more than that.

from-that-one

PROBLEM NUMBER 3:

Schools are supposed to teach our children the skills they will need to have a great professional life and an enjoyable personal life, right? OK, but for several reasons it seems that they are already inefficient in preparing our kids for the current work market. So, what will they do if so many changes occur and up to 65% of the jobs are brand new with no up-to-date curriculum delivered with them?

PROBLEM NUMBER 4:

Many of you parents are already thinking that your children will endure a more difficult life than the one you have. You have numerous doubts about the future for your descendants. And kids can feel it! (Which is not a good thing…)

SO WHAT?

I am sure some of you have a lump in the throat while thinking about all these rocks on the road of your kids’ lives. Is there a solution to ease the future of our loved ones? What can we do as parents? Can we do something?

Greenfield Village Dearborn, Michigan

Greenfield Village
Dearborn, Michigan

I think so. Real Employability skills are one of the keys. I will tell you more next week. (Hint: perhaps a huge increase of STEAM in your child’s engine could help a lot?)

Enjoy your day and see you next week for the answer.