Last week, General Electric released a video about Molly, a kid who never stopped inventing. Here’s why this type of visibility is so important for the STEAM movement and to the students of today.
Molly is an average kid with problems we can all relate to. Who enjoys taking out the garbage in the rain or cold, or wishes making the bed was a snap? In General Electric’s video, our protagonist Molly tackles her everyday problems with creative inventions. She created amazing inventions that solve her everyday problems, like how to make her bed in with the turn of a button — and even a hands-free method to mowing the lawn.
When students work on projects, telling them “this is good for your future” does not seem to resonate. In fact, that statement is usually accompanied with a blank stare and slow blinking.
So how do educators further engage their students? Give students projects that mean something to them — help them tackle problems that are relevant to them right now. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ first foray into making was creating a sibling alarm as a child. Elon Musk learned how to code after he realized the only way he was going to play the games he wanted to play was by creating them.
Educators are also the champions of playful failure. What this video doesn’t show are all of Molly’s inventions previous prototypes — did she have to adjust the slack on her garbage line a few times? Maybe she had to fix her calculations on her stringed-up lawnmower? The process of invention never truly ends. littleBits founder and CEO Ayah Bdeir went through over 15 prototypes of littleBits before selling her first kit at NYC’s Makerfaire in 2011 — and today’s Bits are even further iterations and improvements since then! (She won’t tell us what number we’re up to now.)
We can always iterate and improve our creations, and students should be comfortable with failing hard and failing often. And while young Molly in the video may have created some of these inventions alone, grown-up Molly works on a team. Making inventions together is an excellent cementer of the Four Cs: collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity.
Make sure you and your students check out this amazing video. We can’t wait to see what your students create!
education marketing coordinator P.S – Watch your students’ eyes light up when they experience the moment they can invent something. Get in touch with a littleBits education specialist today to learn more about our custom STEAM solutions.