By Jonathan Ng |Staff Writer|
Children of all ages participated in the ICreate Youth Conference May 12. The Conference is an event designed for young students ranging from grades 4-12 within the San Bernardino Unified School District.
Together they engage in innovative and enriching ideas that inspire them to launch their creative ideas into the future.
Sponsored by CSUSB, San Bernardino Valley Community College, and the UCR Alpha Team, a team that works with local school districts with the goal of improving performance in the fields of mathematics and science; this event was coordinated by Susan Daniels.
Daniels is a CSUSB professor in the education psychology and counseling department. Along with Wendy Zinn, a graduate student of San Bernardino Valley College, these two truly want to make this program a success.
“The purpose of ICreate is to stimulate creative thinking within the minds of young students and encourage them to push their imagination beyond the realm of societal limitations,” said Daniels.
This event took place on Saturday, May 12 at the Obershaw Dining Hall in the CSUSB Upper Commons between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., where students from all over the San Bernardino Unified School District gathered to share their ideas.
Many of the children enjoyed their time at the event with many hands-on activities such as: Zumba dancing, puppetry, racing solar powered cars, and launching their own hand-made paper rockets.
“As the students experience these different phenomena, the education they receive as a result registers later in their minds when they realize what they did in order to make that phenomena happen,” said Daniels.
As teachers of the San Bernardino Unified School District see, “the deficit of their school budget increase higher and higher, as a result, the curriculum is becoming less fluid in the classroom, thus, generating less room to move out of routine and less opportunities to think “Out of the Box,” said Daniels.
“Encouraging young student’s ideas and their imagination while engaging them in a fun environment outside of school is a great idea. I actually find this as an opportunity to bring creativity back into the classroom,” said Wendi Carson, a 1st grade teacher volunteer from Barton Elementary School.
ICreate is a way for adults and teachers to learn about kids and get to know who they are in a non-classroom setting.
“Young participants from all over San Bernardino including: youth actors, artists, builders, crafters, creative thinkers, dancers, designers, discoverers, dreamers, inventors, problem finders, problem solvers, tinkerers, and writers were all invited to demonstrate their creative skills through design, invention, and presentation of their ideas,” said Daniels
One of the most eye-catching activities at the youth conference was the UCR Alpha Team’s rocket launching activity.
Kids swarmed the area as they got to make their very own rocket from scratch and launch it into the sky using a combination of paper, straws, plastic bottles, and pressurized air for a resulting launch that blew their minds.
“Its these types of creative activities that are made for this event […] they are designed to challenge students within the San Bernardino area to take their thoughts to a new level,” said Zinn.
Teachers want to allow students to think creativity in the classroom because they feel like the kids are missing it.
“After school programs are the only things that are pushing our students to think creatively without the pressures of the school’s curriculum, however, not all students attend after school programs and are missing out[…]we need something to pour that creativity back in,” said Zinn.
Teachers are consistently searching for ways to bring creativity back into the classroom due to the high budget cuts and strict curriculum; however, events like ICreate help bring hope for both students and teachers for a better and more creative future.