“We are always told what to do, so I liked having permission to be wild and crazy, “ said Ethan, a Georgetown High School student. With teachers trained by the Creative Education Foundation (CEF), students taking creativity classes at Georgetown High School experienced the inspiration garnered by Creative Problem Solving (CPS).
Through a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, CEF has partnered with Georgetown Public High School (GHS) to help teachers develop their creativity unit. This partnership included teachers’ attendance at the Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI) in 2014 and 2015, as well as on-site creativity curriculum development and training.
GHS teacher Elizabeth Marchetti, said that going to CPSI 2015 “really solidified the on-site creativity training we got in the Spring.” With the support of long-time creative education expert Donna Milani Luther, Georgetown teachers deepened their existing creativity curriculum, which was customized to their students’ particular creative process challenges.
Students also shared the principles of CPS that most resonated with them. Grace likes the idea of coming up with many ideas. “Deferring judgment” resonated with May and helped her feel safe when sharing ideas. Kyle echoed Nathan in liking being “wild and crazy” while ideating, and added that he also liked the structure CPS provides for managing those ideas.
GHS students are combining their interests with CPS skills to develop prototypes with real potential. Chloe is developing a sensor system dogs can trigger to dispense food and water or that owners can trigger remotely. Madison is developing Optilaze, an all-in-one laser tool for surgeons so they no longer have to have a cumbersome array of (scary) tools in surgery.
Creative Problem Solving does more than help people develop innovative ideas; it also provides the tools and techniques that help teams function more collaboratively and effectively. As one GHS teacher noted, “CPS has helped our communications as a teaching team.”
GHS’s work will culminate in a Creativity Showcase featuring students’ work on Thursday, November 5th from 6:00-7:30pm at the Georgetown Middle/High School, 11 Winter Street, Georgetown, MA.