I’ve had fascinating conversations with my 8 year old over the years. “What is space made out of?” “Who invented math?” “How do toilets flush?” “Are light sabers real?” His questions never cease to amaze me; his insights never cease to delight me. There is just something about the wonderful, inspiring curiosity of a child.
I prefer when he can learn by doing, but that’s not always possible. Google became one of our best friends years ago, we visit the library weekly, and we take trips to science museums and the like quite often. I certainly can’t answer the majority of his most intriguing questions and sometimes I even answer them incorrectly or not at all, so I need all the help I can get.
In the meantime, I try my best to simply show him how to learn, how to work hard, and how to follow his passions. That’s when I discovered The Open Bench Project, a creative community for all ages that thrives on collaborative problem-solving, exploring ideas, and critical thinking. Not only does the mission of The Open Bench Project hit home, but the space itself incites a desire to learn. With full access to tools and technology, not to mention some of the smartest people I’ve ever met, I admit I kind of wanted to move in.
As a parent, I could not get my son in there fast enough to explore, learn new skills, and get his hands well and truly dirty. I knew that he would get more than the answers to his questions. The very first class he signed up for was ‘Build Your Own Light Saber.’ Even though once again I had to admit I was wrong (yes, light sabers are actually real, son… and… you get to build your own), I could not be more grateful to The Open Bench Project for nurturing his inquisitiveness and opening the door to a world that will foster his confidence and curiosity.