What On Earth Do You Do With Creativity Training?

What On Earth Do You Do With Creativity Training?

I’M PLAYING A GAME – The World Robot Olympiad Version of the Community Lemonade Game.  I’ve created myself a challenge to build community around the Southern California Qualifier of the World Robot Olympiad, that will be held by the Robotics Society of Southern California (RSSC). So the Gauntlet… the challenge… is to successfully execute the competition on August 11th, 2018.  In my quest for community around the World Robot Olympiad, I have a number of goals: space, equipment, coaches, skills, materials, players.

It's so delicious!
Will you make Lemonade with me?

Today I want to talk about the Open Competition of the world Robot Olympiad.

It’s like preparing for a science fair that addresses a specific, but broad problem.  This year, the teams of 2-3 students each will work to solve problems that are related to “the way we grow, share and consume food.”  I have extracted the rule from the WRO-USA site and am sharing it with you below:

The project should focus around at least one of the following aspects of the Goal 2 of sustainable development:

  • Promote sustainable agriculture
  • Improve nutrition
  • Achieve food security
  • End hunger

This way, each robot will contribute to a goal of the world-wide UN sustainability goals. More information about this specific goal you find at:


There are just a few rules about the robot.

    2. Regulations about the robot
    2.1. There is no restriction on the balance between LEGO® elements and other materials.
    2.2. All robots must be operated by NXT or EV3 controllers and any software.
    2.3. Robots may be preassembled and software programs may be pre-made!

I thought about it more, and was very excited about the possibilities of ‘hacking the brick’.

It’s forbidden territory, but some have dared to go.  The parameters of this competition are giving me permission to venture into this forbidden territory.

AS I WRITE THIS – I am at the home of the Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI), the University of Buffalo.  I am thinking about the question that has haunted me each time I have left creativity training.  First with LEGO(r) Serious Play, then with CPSI’s Springboard to Creative Problem Solving and Tools and Techniques for Creative Problem Solving.  At these training sessions, powerful tools for finding new solutions are shared.  Powerful tools that can be used to help corporations to innovate, find many new ideas, then find the ones that are most imminent and able to be addressed.  Certainly, I’m learning the language – divergent thinking, convergent thinking, ideation, creativity facilitation.  I’m learning the methods and the processes.

That question that I have asked myself each time I leave a training is this: Yes, but what do I do with it?

In these training classes I estimate that about 50% are professors at US and foreign universities who teach creativity and innovation.  About 40% work for marketing research or innovation units in companies internationally.  The other 10% is a ragtag group of individuals who are seeking their path in life.  Guess where I am in this chart.  Certainly, it’s an interesting mix.

If you are in the 10%, you don’t have someone paying you to learn creativity skills.  No one providing the parameters for what you will do with your training.  You can do with it whatever you like.  Given that opportunity, you still need to define it.  You still need to define your purpose.  Or perhaps I mean that you still need to find it.  As I write this, I’m thinking of this post I wrote some time ago about that very same subject.

Last night I had an ‘AHA!’ moment.  I can use these skills that I’ve been gathering for a number of years to create my own program.  I can share the power of being able to address problems and to find answers to those problems with my community.  I can do this with my Lincoln Elementary ScoutMaker community, my Makersville community, my whomever I might meet or gather community.  We can focus it around the problem presented by the WRO Open Competition.  How exciting this is!

Above is a photo of me with Thom Gonyeau of the Mountain View Group and William Grace Frost of New and Improved.  Thom and William are leading my class in Facilitating CPS.  Perfect for my new goals!  They were happy to take a photo with “Flat Butch O’Hare” as I seek to help my friends at the O’Hare airport play their Flying Game. #flywithbutchohare @flyohare @fly2ohare @macker. Now I have tweeted this photo with Thom and William, I now have five Tweets to my Squigglemom name.  Find me on Twitter: @squigglemom

Trish Tsoiasue is a community builder based in Long Beach, California . She builds socially responsible, grassroots communities, has many hobbies and interests, and lots and lots of ideas. She is trained in LEGO(r) Serious Play and the Creative Problem Solving Institute‘s methods of intentional creativity. The two communities she has created and in which she takes most pride are Makersville and ScoutMaker (a prototype community started at Title I, Lincoln Elementary School through a grant from Honda Research and Development arranged by the Long Beach BSA ).

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