Know the Complementary Nature of Information and Creativity in STEM Education for Kids

You might ask, what relationship exists between information and creativity? It’s not enough that your kids have the subject knowledge in STEM education, coding for kids, and robotics for kids. They need creativity in addition to domain knowledge in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and a favorable learning environment.

It is a crucial question since most people think having enough knowledge, putting it through thoughtful analysis, and then making rational decisions is sufficient. It negates the need for creativity altogether—even those who will not publicly admit this act in a manner consistent with their beliefs.

Where do we need it?

There might be situations where only information is needed. Such as a situation where you want to catch a train, you check the timetable. In a case like this, thinking and guesswork will not matter.

If we had perfect information, then thinking would be unnecessary. However, the probability of getting the ideal information is very low.

The common assumption is that, as more and more knowledge and information are gathered, the need for thinking and problem-solving is lessened. But, on the contrary, with more details, the demand for review rises sharply because of the need to make sense of the data. In other words, the data has to be analysed.

Many scientists and data executives believe data analysis will lead to new ideas. Sadly, this belief is misplaced. The analyst will be able to choose an old picture from their collection to see if it fits after analysing the data. However, analysing data won’t result in novel ideas.

Any new idea must start in the head, and then the validity of that idea must be checked against data.

Information and Creativity

Even in the process of gathering data, creativity is crucial. When you know the information you need, you must use creativity to determine how to obtain it in the most efficient and precise manner possible. An opinion poll’s question design may call for originality. Accessing specific individuals or populations may call for ingenuity.

Undoubtedly, our ability to think creatively will improve with more excellent knowledge. The outcome will be more useful if there is more to play with. The picture will be more vibrant if the artist uses various colours.

Therefore, it must follow that the more knowledge the “creative person” has access to, the greater the creativity’s output will be. Sadly, this is not the case.

Information is rarely presented in its purest form, which is problematic. Typically, conceptions and perceptions are wrapped around the information. The individual who is creating is compelled to think in the same way when they include these preexisting ideas and views.

Use of Hypothesis for Creativity

There are numerous situations when we must comprehend what is happening to act appropriately.

For instance, the sale of luxury cars is falling – what is the reason? We search for information and clues. Then we put forth a hypothesis.

A hypothesis is only a speculative guess as to what the underlying design might be. It provokes us to go beyond what is obvious, labelled and categorised to think up possible scenarios.

A hypothesis is a presumption or conjecture. It has a lot of advantages. The hypothesis provides a lens through which to view the data, allowing us to start noticing details we had previously missed. It also provides us with a goal to strive for in terms of supporting or refuting it.

The idea that scientists must be competent analysts has hindered science significantly and ignores the necessity for innovative hypotheses. Building a hypothesis involves a lot of creativity. If there is no innovation, we are limited to using conventional ideas.

The Dilemma

Unfortunately, using hypotheses poses a significant problem. Without it, we stumble. However, having one can make us less open to other possibilities. We currently only consider the data in light of the hypothesis.

Through a hypothesis, we look at a situation through a separate window. Long before the paradigm shift occurs, the facts might already be available. However, we have sanitised the evidence by viewing it through the lens of the outdated theory. This explains why paradigm shifts might take a very long time to occur.

Though they may seem absurd, it is necessary to hold a variety of hypotheses to interpret the evidence in various ways.
These alternative and parallel hypotheses must be generated creatively. There is a requirement for extensive guesswork, speculation, and hypothesis development.

The Inadequacy of Market Research Data

Take, for example, market research data shows that men drink whisky. Therefore, advertising such drinks in women’s magazines is no use. Instead of telling us what might be, market analysis shows us “what is.” It’s possible that a campaign encouraging women to drink whisky might increase whisky consumers.

Roads were built by traffic engineers with some extrapolation factors to satisfy the demand. However, as soon as the roads are made available, they quickly become congested as their very presence attracts more traffic.

Market analysis poses a risk because it is static and does not consider future possibilities or interactive loops.

Therefore creativity is required in interpreting data and looking at options. What other possibilities are there? What else may be occurring here?

Future Possibilities

Getting all the information about the past may be attainable, but getting all the information about the future is impossible. That’s because the future may be discontinuous. It may not be an extension of the present.

To present certain potential futures, we must intentionally be creative. There is no way to demonstrate that these “possibilities” will occur. Nevertheless, having the options enhances our mental map of the future.

Planning and decisions are probably more adaptable based on the expanded concept map. Instead of wrongly elevating possibilities to certainty, they should be given their full value.

Concepts for Creativity

We occasionally set out to analyse data to spot trends and understand what is happening. Other times, though, we form a clear concept in our heads and then look for data to support and validate the concept. Although earlier data may have implied it, the concept comes before the data in this case.

Pretending that all concepts are the product of original thought is ludicrous. Nevertheless, the formulation of concepts typically involves a significant creative effort. The benefit of idea drivers will be completely lost on those who wait for the analysis of facts to provide them with their guidance.

The development of a new idea creates a fresh perspective through which we can view the environment and any information that may be available. The new notion instructs us on what and where to look. We would never have discovered evidence proving the concept’s usefulness if it hadn’t been for its ability to focus attention and guide information selection. In contrast to the more prevalent “passive” use, this is how information is used actively.

The above points underline the importance of creativity and the inadequacy of information and knowledge alone as a prerequisite for deriving innovative ideas. For kids, it wouldn’t be enough to acquire the subject knowledge. But they would need to develop out-of-the-box thinking in STEM fields, robotics classes for kids and learning to code.