no robots please!
How can we foster future innovation?
Armed with this and other questions I enter the primary school classroom dressed to impress (and inspire) in my white laboratory coat. The children are immediately engaged by the visiting "mad scientist" and together we set-off on a journey to explore the future!
I introduce the class to my magical milk-making machine (based on an in-vitro mammary gland). The children's responses range from sheer marvel to an unadulterated yuk! After debating the ethics of nanotechnology and genetic engineering I present a slideshow of present and future technologies. They feedback their approval through a traffic-light system of cards – green, yellow and red: For example, Priscilla, the genetically modified pig who wants to be eaten receives a mixed response – with some articulate arguments against the concept.
Finally "Doctor Alan" sets the challenge: Design a future toy and draw your wacky idea with a few explanatory notes! The children are uninhibited in their pursuit of creative future designs – passionately conjuring up new visions such as nano-pets and the edible apple phone.
I leave with a sense that creativity is safe in the hands of the next generation!
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