4 Ways Gifted Students Can Be More Inventive this Summer
Are you an inventive person? If not, wouldn’t you like to be? If you’re a full time student, summer is a great season to think in ways you don’t have time to think during the rest of the year. You may have increased relaxation time and you may be in situations that are different from what you do the rest of the year, exposing you to new challenges or prompting new ideas.
Maybe you are at the beach and want to come up with new, efficient, and inexpensive ways to desalinate salt water. Maybe you want to find a way to cool things, like drinks or clothes or surfaces, in ways that don’t involve ice, refrigeration, or air conditioning. Maybe you desire more efficient insulation than what you’re currently experiencing. Or maybe you see a lot of plastic waste outdoors and want to think of additional types of biodegradable packaging. Maybe you also find you need some help in thinking through your problems and ideas.
Here are 4 tips we often use in working with gifted students to help them be successful in thinking inventively.
1. Reframe your thinking.
Think of a common object generally associated with your challenge and then answer these questions:
- What else could this object be?
- Where else could it be useful?
- What’s the funny side of this situation?
- What opportunities are lurking for the use of this item?
- How does this object look to other people?
2. Create a mind map of your challenge.
- Start in the center of the page.
- Lines should connect and radiate out from a central concept.
- Use different colors.
- Use images and symbols.
3. Use insight in examining the situation.
- Gather knowledge about the area of need.
- Develop possibilities for odd combinations of existing products.
4. Take action.
- Present your idea to someone else, hopefully someone with knowledge or expertise in the universe of the problem.
- Gather feedback.
- Make improvements in your ideas.
- Create a timeline to develop your idea.
Above all have fun! Inventing, thinking creatively, and being imaginative are enjoyable ways to engage your mind. You probably have other processes and strategies you use in your own creativity as well. We’d love to hear from you and pass along your great ideas as well. Happy inventing!
All the best,