Understanding Brainstorming to Generate Creative Ideas for STEM Education for Kids

There is a high correlation between brainstorming effectiveness and subject knowledge. Since brainstorming is a technique to spawn new ideas and for producing concepts, explanations, and solutions. It’s a technique your kids need to know when they are getting into STEM education, coding for kids, and robotics for kids.

Brainstorming is using the mind to devise a unique solution to a problem. It’s a group activity that involves putting up ideas and then discussing them in a brainstorming session.

Understanding its various facets will let your kids use it effectively in problem-solving and STEM learning environments. Children learn well in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics subjects and find creative solutions to real-world problems. Let’s start with what brainstorming entails.

Features of the Brainstorming Techniques

Alex Osborn first floated the idea of brainstorming in the 1950s. He asserted that face-to-face groups that verbally exchange ideas should outperform the same number of solo brainstormers working on the same problem. This is because face-to-face groups should be able to take advantage of their group members’ various perspectives and skills. They can stimulate each other’s cognitive thinking to produce many ideas.

There could also be social and cognitive factors that could enhance productivity in a brainstorming session. These include greater accountability, competition, and the level of social and mental stimulation possibly through interactive stories.

Types of Brainstorming sessions

There are three types of brainstorming: verbal, nominal, and electronic.

The term “verbal brainstorming” describes brainstorming sessions in which group members each vocally share an idea, one at a time.

Nominal brainstorming refers to brainstorming sessions where participants brainstorm ideas individually without speaking to one another.

Electronic brainstorming is the practice of simultaneously generating ideas within a group.

1. Criticism is Eliminated

Any immediate adverse judgment or criticism must be avoided and reserved for later

2. Free-wheeling

It is simpler to tame an idea than to make it up. Thus the wilder the idea, the better.

3. High Quantity

The more the number of ideas, the better it is. It improves the number of valuable ideas

4. Combinations

In addition to offering their suggestions, participants should provide tips for how others can improve upon some ideas. Another option is to combine several ideas into a single one.

Brainstorming for idea generation

Brainstorming enables idea generation, sharing, and developing connections between ideas by analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating ideas. It allows participants to contribute to the creation of an invention.

Brainstorming sessions can result in joint creation. By combining personal interaction among participants with objective elements of shared design, brainstorming groups can create something new.

The combination of originality and usefulness is typically used to characterize idea quality in the literature on creative idea production. It involves assessing whether an idea is new or old. Plus, it includes evaluating the idea’s usefulness in implementation

How is a problem solved or an invention formed?

The goal of the invention is frequently described as the issue to be resolved, and the stages of invention generation include

1. Conception: Conceiving an idea through mere intuition or based on a principle
2. Embodiment: Turning the conception into an embodiment by creating a model, experimenting and modifying the model and reflecting on the changes made.

Which brainstorming technique is effective

Numerous research in social psychology and group psychology have demonstrated that nominal brainstorming produces superior ideas in groups than verbal brainstorming.

That’s because specific barriers impact the performance of verbal brainstorming, which are:

1. Judgments that surface during generation
2. Members who lose interest in the group
3. Insufficient structure to facilitate interaction

Some factors that can negatively affect brainstorming quality include low coordination and low motivation among the members.

Electronic brainstorming (EBS) has been presented as a method that encourages group stimulation and synergy. It also makes it easier to establish chains of reasoning. This helps to build on sound ideas and think in fresh ways, generating new ideas and enhancing creativity and originality. The empirical evidence for such a stimulating effect on concept quality is weak, nevertheless.

How to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of EBS is a problem to be solved to deliver the most effective method of brainstorming. EBS has crucial implications for electronic collaboration and virtual teaming in both academic and organizational contexts

Principles & Process

For effective brainstorming, therefore, the following principles are to be kept in mind:

1. Instructions for brainstorming are crucial and should emphasize quantity rather than the quality of thoughts.

2. There should be a specific challenging target for the number of ideas.

3. The original ideas should be created by individuals, not by groups.

4. The ideas should then be combined and improved in groups.

5. People should give their final ratings to choose the greatest ideas, which will increase devotion to the selected ideas.

6. The amount of time needed for effective brainstorming should be limited to an absolute minimum.

From a cognitive perspective, brainstorming in groups can be a valuable method for developing original ideas.

A cognitive viewpoint identifies strategies that can be employed to improve idea production through group idea exchange. The social interchange of ideas is most likely beneficial to groups of people with a variety of information.

It’s generally accepted that face-to-face communication is the most natural form of group engagement. However, writing or technology can also improve the flow of ideas. The engagement should be structured to ensure thorough attention to the ideas being communicated. It is beneficial to switch between solitary and group ideation because it enables thoughtful analysis and processing of shared beliefs.

Group members clarify and discuss ideas, combining or improving them as necessary. One idea is presented at a time, and each person is asked to state their reasons for agreement or disagreement. The member can also give any helpful recommendations for development.

The Process

One popular brainstorming process is the Individual-Group-Individual procedure. It consists of the following steps:

1. Five to seven people are seated around a table in the same room when the chairperson announces the brainstorming instructions.

2. Without speaking, people record as many thoughts as they can on paper or enter them into computers. The alloted time to do that is often 15 minutes.

3. The chairperson notes ideas from participants in rotation, one concept per individual per rotation. It’s done using an electronic or flip display that everyone can see on the screen.

4. The chairman then adds the updated suggestions to a final list that the entire group can see.

5. Individuals privately score or rate revised thoughts without debate. By combining individual votes, the best concept or ideas are selected.

Creativity, constructive thinking, and creative problem-solving skills are listed as desired outcomes in most gifted and talented programmes. Therefore, brainstorming has emerged as the most popular strategy for generating group ideas. In programmes for the bright and talented, brainstorming is frequently taught.

Therefore, making your kids engage in minor brainstorming debate sessions is essential. It’s an excellent way to prepare them for STEM fields, robotics classes for kids, and learning to code.