The nature of creativity and innovation is very difficult to teach. Years ago, we did a motorized project, and all students took home a custom, motorized popsicle-stick and construction paper project. The next year, zero students took on a similar complex project, brainstormed or even attempted a next level project. It was only this year, two years later, that one motorized project was made by a student who did the initial motorized projects with us.
The pattern holds for most past projects (except the easy, popular ones) – just learning the medium for making cool stuff does not mean that creativity will follow. That sentence seems so obvious now, but I’ve always been driven to tinker and explore with new methods that, in my mind, learning a new method will just lend itself to new project ideas.
Teaching creativity explicitly is a real trick. You can help to develop a creative project, but that student is back to square one when that project is finished. There is the joy of creating, curiosity, patience, creative confidence, growth mindset, and so much more to teach towards this big vague goal.
It’s not about the project. It’s about your thinking and watching yourself grow, exploring new thoughts and learning how the world actually works. You are the project in this class.