Reflections from Mumbai with 225 Academy

Leading a creative synthetic biology workshop at American School of Bombay.

Leading a creative synthetic biology workshop at American School of Bombay.

First day of workshops with 225 Academy. What a morning. The creativity, limitless-ness and ability to totally change and explore new dimensions and angles of thinking of these kids continues to excite/astound/energise me.

Why are we not achieving this level of joy and excitement in every classroom?

Why are kids feeding back that they found science lessons boring before, that it's usually too complex - and asking me what subject this is, because it can't be science. WHY ARE WE NOT TEACHING ABOUT LIFE AND HOW THINGS WORK AND WHAT IS POSSIBLE?

By creating workshops that are pumped with excitement, relevance, and cutting edge science, kids as young as 11 are already grasping the concept of DNA as a code, As bonding to Ts, Cs to Gs, and grappling the ethical dilemmas of genetic engineering, and the subtle tensions of using Nature as a technology with people in power/with money.

What's more, is through the balance of OBSERVATION and CREATING, which yesterday we covered as the feedback loop and branches of science, kids can continuously learn and take on new thinking, facts and skills, and immediately apply them creatively to build, design and make. A constant discussion of ethics, intentions and purpose allows the connection between the what and why, which can be carried into everything we do.

Every child is a genius. How we frame their learning and their environment of learning, how we create spaces within us and within schools that are fearless and safe, and how we create two way channels of communication so that learning can be tailored, shared, and bi-directional is so so so very important.

What is holding back our current education model? We have amazing resources, amazing technology, and also amazing Teachers. I think framing and prioritisation is what is important -- allowing teachers to have freedom of how they frame content, and prioritising communication, emotional intelligence, creativity, kindness, consciousness into our centres of learning.