Friday, October 23, 2009

Who "teaches" who? When in doubt, ask... a child...

Lead Change: A Children's Museum in Every Town?

Five years ago a 5 y.o. girl thought of a Children's (Science & Technology Hands On) Museum for every child in the world.

If big people nurture children's innovativeness and their desire to learn from very early on in life, some global issues improve naturally in time.

Starting with knowing why not to let the water run when we brush our teeth, and making it "uncool" to waste the water. All because we saw the cycle of water in nature (at the Toledo COSI Science Center) and we realize that letting the water run kills the "fishies" in the lake...

Or who knows... Children like to play and they are often blind to differences adults see. A child you can play with at the museum or playground is a playmate to a child. To an adult often they have race or color or ethnicity or social status or safety or risks concerns which adults then convey to children. If only it was the other way, if the children would teach the adults instead...

If we would fuel the passion for knowledge with hands on experiences that the children (not the educators!) find well... "cool"... then we could learn from "Mom, did you get my text message? No? Wait, I'll teach you how to open it!"

Let's! What do you think?

We can make this a reality.

It is a small idea my daughter had back in Chicago five years ago (as she just turned five y.o.) and that we want to convince the world it would be a good one. To have a Children's Museum in Every Town, a Hands On broad science experience accessible to children from anywhere and everywhere in the entire wide World...

Spread the Word!

(BTW, if one thinks, this is what Benjamin Franklin used to do back in his days, except it was by regular printing on regular paper. Thank You, Web 2.0 if we have to call it that, for a great medium.)

Thank you,
Daddy/Adrian and Daughter

PS Doing this requires not (just, or necessarily) money, but rather support and a much different vision. Vision support. It could need "face time" with top decision makers. A viral idea self-distribution, much beyond the unfortunately all too old by now "write your representative".

Most models transferring North/West Money to the South were tried and failed. A "solution" made in New York (UN) or Washington DC (World Bank) will not work in Rwanda, but one based on passion and possibility built in Rwanda will...

Even in the US children in SE Michigan could not go in this past decade to the Children's Museum (three are available within 30-50 miles) with their school because _there [was] no money_.

The money is spend on punishing crime which happens in part because we didn't spend _much less_ money on schools/children's museums 15 years ago or less... In case you missed it, read "Freakonomics", by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, here:

Did we go to a Hands On museum as a child? What if we take our children twice a month, take pictures, and we all tell stories about it in school.

Somewhere in farmland Pennsylvania there may be children not having access to one as it is too far can be built by folks donating their used toaster and their time in the old unused firehouse (Ann Arbor MI Hands On Museum was built this way in the 1980s--and it is great and very inspiring)

Talk with other parents and school administrators about it? Write the story by the child to the senator? priceless...

In time it will make it to the UN, the World Bank, and even Bill & Melinda Gates (with Warren Buffett) Foundation,

but mainly to children...they are powerful:

“A child is a person who is going to carry on what you have started. He is going to sit where you are sitting, and when you are gone, attend to those things which you think are important. You may adopt all the policies you please, but how they are carried out depends on him. He will assume control of your cities, states, and nations. He is going to move in and take over your churches, schools, universities, and corporations... the fate of humanity is in his hands.” (Abraham Lincoln)

That is the idea... Can we think of ways to pass it on? Some day some child somewhere where there was not previously a Children's Museum will smile at science or technology... That smile will be a Thank You to all of us! Can we make it happen? Let's!

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