Creative Thinking Prompt: Colorforms® – A Timeless Toy
Since the 1950s, Colorforms® has been inspiring the imaginations of children. Back in 1951, two art students, Harry and Patricia Kislevitz, experimented with a new medium, a flexible vinyl material to use instead of paint. They bought rolls of colorful vinyl, cut out geometric shapes and stuck them to the walls of their bathroom. When guests came over to visit, they added to the Harry and Patricia’s bathroom art creation.
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The Invention Process
Step 1: Choose a problem
Step 2: Brainstorm solutions
Step 3: Background research
Step 4: Design and build
Step 5: Test and revise
Creative Thinking Prompt: Using the invention process, invent a new imagination game. After you design and build, have others play your game. What did they like about it? What did they think could be improved? Go back to the drawing board and revise your game again and again, trying out new ideas. What steps and risks did you take to invent something new? Good for you! Pat yourself on the back for persisting and trying something new!
Creative Thinking Prompt: Invention Inspired by Nature
What do owls and humpback whales have in common?
Wind turbine blades!
Researchers Ian Clark, William N. Alexander, William J. Devenport, Stewart A. Glegg, Justin Jaworski, Conor Daly, and Nigel Peake looked at an owl’s silent predatory flight for inspiration to reduce the amount of noise that wind blades emitted. They noticed tiny hairs that look like fringe stuck up on wing feathers, which smoothed the air flow into a neat stream. After creating a 3D printed plastic coating that mimics the owl’s feather structure and applying it to the blade, turbine noise was reduced by fifty percent.
Biologist Frank Fish noticed bumps running along the fins on a humpback whale. Fish studied and discovered that these bumps create small vortices that help the fin cut through water. By developing a bumpy edge to a turbine blade, noise is reduced and efficiency increased. This is now known as the turbercle effect.
Edge of a prototype wind turbine blade – Whalepower Corporation
Creative Thinking Prompt: How might an owl or whale influence you to redesign or create a new common household item like a spoon, lawn mower, or bike?
©Chul Hyun Ahn
Creative Thinking Prompt: Infinite Space Defined
How do you define space? How might you show (represent) space?
South Korean artist Chul Hyun Ahn enjoys exploring how to define infinite space through his art. He creates portal-looking sculptures using light, mirrors, color and illusion.
Images©Chul Hyun Ahn
Think Deeper: Ponder this – If something is infinite, does it have a center point?