I have a standing search on Twitter and elsewhere for “students invent,” and a few times a week some interesting new solution to a problem comes across from creative kids who are doing work that matters. One of the best of the year by far in 2015 was this story about three teenagers in the UK who invented a condom that would change colors if it were exposed to sexually transmitted diseases in the course of…you know…intercourse. They won $1,500 and a chance to present their invention at Buckingham Palace. (No one seemed to be sure it the queen would be in attendance…)
It was billed as a way to promote STEM education, but we all know about adolescent boys, right? They had a passion to learn about this, as is evidenced in a quote from the organizers: “I think the reason the judges put this idea first was because the
project showed how much learning these boys had done while researching
We can only imagine, right?
Good on the people at the kids’ school to let them have at what it a real world problem that needs a real world solution. I know a lot of places where they probably would have been guided in another direction. And when you read the article, their work has led to lots more questions. The learning isn’t over by any stretch.
Here’s hoping we get lots more stories in 2016 like this one, learning that starts with kids’ interests and passions, learning that leads to work that matters in the world, learning that expands important conversations, and learning that is unforgettable in the lives of the learners.