Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to share my BrickStix journey with about 500 students at Horace Mann Elementary School. For about a week they had been told a special speaker was coming to their school. There were posters up and down the halls with famous inventors on them, and one in shadow. I didn’t know about any of this before my arrival, but, I did think it was pretty cool to be included with such great minds…to be a “real live one!” My purpose was to inspire them to be creative, and to let them know kids can do incredible things. All kids!
I walked in to the filled auditorium with my BrickStix in hand, and the teacher and I did a little skit to get the kids excited. She pretended to not know who I was, and I let her know I was there to speak to the kids. They all laughed. Anyway, I went on to share my story. I had a prepared PowerPoint with images of me as a kid building with LEGO and pictures involving my BrickStix adventure. I showed them bits of video from a couple tv spots and I talked about inventing.
As I stood there, talking, I was struck by their age. I was once that small. Some of them were the age I was when I dreamt up BrickStix. I was no different from any of them, and they were no different from me. I’m no expert, but it was fun pretending to be. We all have passions and ideas. We are all creative in our own way. And we all come up with ideas, all of the time. We just don’t always act on them. I let them know that I think inventing is just solving a problem. Maybe it’s making something that already exists work better, or maybe it is coming up with something completely new. Regardless, we all have it in us. They had lots of questions, and were eager to learn as much as they could.
I hope I inspired them to be creative thinkers and I hope they all enjoy getting ready to present at their Inventors’ Fair. I know they inspired me.