Encouraging the Innovator Spirit in Youth

“There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings.” ~Hodding Carter

In an age where creativity is often pre-engineered through technology, it is hard to strike a balance between utilizing that technology and allowing our imaginations to flow unassisted.  That’s why it is more important than ever to provide a safe environment for our youth to explore technology and encourage creative risk-taking while they try to create a new reality.  So how do we do this?  How do we give our youth both roots and wings in today’s fast-paced world?

“Instead of viewing the world around them as a preexisting set of facts to be memorized, students generate new options for what could be. This skill lies right at the heart of the future innovator: looking around and creating new solutions.”

In Anthony Brandy and David Eagleman’s article “Three ways to help any kid be more creative,” they explore three points that can help us encourage creativity and the innovator spirit.  These points align perfectly with the Essential Elements of 4-H (Belonging, Independence, Mastery, and Generosity) and our overarching organizational goals.

As you move through the 4-H year, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Use the past as a launching pad to imagine the future
  2. Explore many, many options
  3. Encourage creative risk-taking

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