Day Has Lesson in Creativity; Professor Develops an Array of Activities to Tout the Skill

Article excerpt


Hula hoops, paper airplanes and ice cream sundaes served by Leonardo da Vinci recently gave staff and students at Florida Community College at Jacksonville's Deerwood Center a chance to experience creativity in a new way.

The first Creativity and Innovation Day was the brainchild of professor Jeff Olma, who teaches English and creative studies at FCCJ.

The event was designed to do three things: "Raise awareness of creativity so that people know about creativity, show some ways that creativity is used and have interesting and fun learning activities," Olma said.

It also was meant to promote the college-credit creativity courses offered at FCCJ, he said. Hundreds of students have taken at least one of the courses, but many students are unaware of them and the ways one can apply creativity.

More than 100 participants worked their way through a series of stations, earning points that entitled them to create an ice cream sundae with unusual toppings such as sweetened cereal, animal crackers, marshmallows and candy.

College librarians set up a display with books related to creativity. At the Idea Hospital, students and staff were invited to suggest ideas to solve an upcoming parking crisis during extensive center renovations. Another station afforded the opportunity to paint with an artist. Another challenged attendees to design a paper airplane and launch it at a target.

Two of the most popular stations were creative teaming and new inventions.

The creative teaming exercises called for participants to work together to transport marbles using flexible plastic rules and work two hula hoops around a group holding hands. For many of the students, it was a lesson unlike any they've had in the past.

The invention station was stocked with myriad supplies, including cardboard boxes, wire hangers, paper tubes, egg cartons, duct tape and more. The challenge was for participants to identify a problem and develop an invention to solve it. …


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