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# Seeing the Unseen

#### What is creativity? How does it come easily to some people and not to others? During a recent conference on Einstein, attention was focused on his creative genus. Einstein has been quoted as saying he believed his own creative ability was related to his slow development. As a child, he didn't ponder basic concepts. Therefore in adulthood, those notions were unique. Since they were new to him, he was able to approach the concepts with mature thinking skills.

By Michael DiSpezio|Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Measuring Creativity

Is there a way to measure creativity? Can you test for moments of genius? Are there questioning strategies that access higher thinking skills as opposed to assessing basic memory feats? You be the judge. In this activity, you’ll take a creative genius test.

 Pencil and paper

 Consider each object below. The actual object can be of any size. Beneath its illustration, list five different uses for this object. 1.                                                                                                                                   2.                                                                                                                                    3.                                                                                                                                    4.                                                                                                                                    5.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

# Illustrating Words

Examine the style in which the word “table” is illustrated below. Its appearance communicates the meaning of the word. Examine the list of words beneath “table.” Your challenge is to select any five words and draw each so that its appearance suggests the word’s meaning.

Fast
Thin
Dissolve
Owl
Shoe
Skyscraper
Mouse
Cloud
Smokestack
Multiply

What makes a word easy to illustrate so that its appearance conveys meaning? What makes a word more difficult to illustrate? Reorder the list above from the easiest to the most challenging word. Share your list with classmates. How do the orders compare?

Creative Solutions

Observe how the six toothpicks below are arranged to form two identical triangles. Now rearrange these six toothpicks so that they form four triangles of this same size.

Answer: You need to construct a 3D pyramid using the toothpicks. The pyramid’s bottom and its three sides produce four triangles.

Frame of Reference

Can shifting a frame of reference affect the way you perceive a concept or object? Look at objects that hang from the ceiling. Can you list five uses for each object? Now change your perspective. Imagine the room turned upside down, with you walking on the ceiling. Consider those same objects. Is it easier or more difficult to think of alternative uses when your frame of reference is switched? Explain.