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Strandbeest Creativity

Strandbeest Creativity

At last, the sun has come out, the rain clouds have disappeared and we have a glorious, warm day to enjoy on campus. The Senior School have been basking like cats outside the houses at lunchtime and the juniors were on the verge of putting up the tennis nets on the grass outside the Junior School. Long may this late Indian Summer last!

Over the past week, I have been thinking a great deal about creativity and how it is such a valuable skill – useful in its own right as the basis for all manner of life-enhancing arts, but also enormously useful in almost every other area of life, from politics and public speaking to maths and engineering. This afternoon, we welcomed a number of primary schools from the region to our STEM Challenge Day. STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The teams were tasked with constructing a moving vehicle, propelled only by air. At their disposal were a variety of materials – corrugated plastic sheets, polystyrene cups, sticky tape, straws and (crucially) some small balloons. Blue Peter heaven!

The teams worked busily throughout the morning, creating prototypes, testing, failing, re-thinking and adjusting their vehicles. It was great to see the team-work and problem-solving skills in action, but undeniably, creativity was also playing a crucial part in the construction. Combined with a healthy dose of ‘give it a go’, the students making the quickest progress were engaging their creative side to solve an otherwise technical problem.

The possibilities when creativity meets technology are endless and remind me of some amazing artwork by Dutch physicist turned artist Theo Jansen – well worth a look! Now we have a beach…

http://www.strandbeest.com/


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