As adults we have the tendency to “grow” out of our childhood creative mindset and be fixated on everyday worries. While this is important for functioning in society, it sure puts a damper on being creative.
Kids are some of the best problem solvers around. Give a kid motivation for solving a problem, and he’ll use whatever resources are handy to get it done. Not only that, he won’t quit until he’s found the solution. Kids have the perfect blend of determination, creativity, and downright recklessness to find a solution.
Today’s example comes from Malawi, where babies are benefiting from a seemingly basic aquarium pump that has been re-imagined by young students into a piece of life-saving equipment.
One of the most successful projects has been something called a bubble CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure). It helps premature infants breathe by pushing a stream of air into their lungs.
Richards-Kortum says a team of Rice students found some clever ways to make a bubble CPAP that was affordable.
"One of the wonderful things about working with 18-year-olds is that they're so creative," she says. "They don't have fixed ideas about what might not work. And so you get really crazy ideas. Like inside our bubble CPAP machine, there's aquarium pumps."
[Image via RICE.]