Over the last 50 years there has been a steady decrease in the number of U.S. patents granted to students who were educated in U.S. primary and secondary school systems. There also has been a decline in the number of American students earning science degrees as well as a decline in the Creativity Quotient (as measured by the Torrance Test). We believe these trends are important indicators of the general decline of creative thinking in the U.S., thereby potentially affecting the number of future inventors and entrepreneurs.
Recent findings from the neuroscience of creativity and imagination provide a science-based remedy for reversing these negative trends. Using these findings in formal school systems is challenging. Science centers and museums, however, have the freedom to develop innovative programs and curricula that can address the creativity deficit. By providing usable models of effective learning, programs developed outside of the formal school system can have an outsized impact on science education as a whole.
At the center of our plan is the development of a "Creative Outcomes Model" - a rubric that will guide the development and rating of creative curriculum. Derived from content developed for the "Neuroscience of Imagination and Creativity Gallery," it will be integrated with science content developed for the "American Ideals of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Gallery." The prototype will be a curriculum package that incorporates 1) Best practices for increasing creative processing skills, and 2) Interactive modules teaching science through inventions. The scalable template will provide an effective model for weaving together exhibits, programs and curriculum based on the neuroscience of creativity.
The Cade Museum will work with a curriculum strategist to help us create metrics for measuring our success and to develop a long-range plan to strengthen our ability to deliver high quality creativity-based science curriculum to a national audience.