Panel of Experts Debate How to Inspire Young Minds
TORONTO, Feb. 3, 2012 /CNW/ - The Ontario Science Centre on Thursday
became Canada's first cultural attraction to host a Facebook Live event
when it invited a panel of experts to explore how young Canadians can
harness their inventive spirit just as the legendary Leonardo da Vinci
did centuries ago.
"Inspiring Inventiveness: Beyond da Vinci" included Kobo founder Michael
Serbinis, da Vinci expert Massimiliano Lisa, Today's Parent executive editor Sandra Martin and the Science Centre's chief science
officer, Hooley McLaughlin. Broadcast live inside Leonardo da Vinci's Workshop: The Exhibition, it was moderated by CBC host Wendy Mesley.
CEO Lesley Lewis said that the Ontario Science Centre encourages
provocative dialogue on science and innovation. "We are pleased to host
this discussion which will enrich our understanding of how to spark
innovative thinking and Leonardo-like attitudes in today's youth.
Science centres can play a key role in exploring how we can motivate
curiosity, discovery and fearless learning," she said.
The broadcast can be viewed anytime online at www.facebook.com/OntarioScienceCentre.
For Michael Serbinis, who created the Kobo E-reader, a fascination with
rockets and space - including trips to the Ontario Science Centre's
Space exhibit - drove his early innovative spirit. A winner of many
national and international science fairs as a youngster, Serbinis found
pleasure in discovery.
"For me it was fun, building new things and trying to make other things
better. That led me to Silicon Valley," he said.
Sandra Martin pointed to the vast importance of unchaining convention
and allowing youngsters to think differently. "If kids escape that
tendency to fit in, it releases the sense of 'I can do anything,'" she
said. "Tell (your kids) it is good to think outside the box. You don't
have to focus on one specific career. Your child can experience
creativity and innovation no matter what they do."
Dr. Hooley McLaughlin said that the Science Centre encourages a
different approach to learning. "We have real, physical experiences
here. Play is essential to learning, playing with no agenda, no set
goals. That is key to innovative thought."
McLaughlin added that the Science Centre has taken the position of
seeking out Weston Youth Innovation Award candidates. "Young people
don't know that they are innovative, don't understand that they are
breaking loose, being inventive."
Da Vinci as Inspiration
The subject of the Ontario Science Centre's technology-rich exhibition
was discussed as a source of inspiration despite Leonardo's living in
such a different time.
Massimiliano Lisa said Leonardo da Vinci's penchant for writing backward
was testament to his visionary nature. "Leonardo… didn't have a formal
education," Lisa said. "As a child, he was let free to experiment. He
invented a way to write backwards while the whole rest of the world
wrote another way."
The exhibition illustrates the amazing depth of talents that da Vinci
possessed, including science, art, engineering and anatomy. Combining
art and science, McLaughlin said, seemed to stoke his creativity.
Serbinis said da Vinci's talent in multiple disciplines was his lasting
imprint on engineering, a profession whose versatility attracted the
Kobo founder. "The amazing thing was that Leonardo was one person, the
master of so many different domains. A seven- or eight-year-old would
be stunned to find out one person could do all this."
Lisa, curator of the exhibition, said: "You can be like Leonardo by
opening your mind. Don't be afraid to experiment."
McLaughlin said that da Vinci exemplified living a full, rich life,
letting his imagination wander in daily life. "That is a powerful
message," he said. "He didn't differentiate between art and science.
(Young Canadians) don't have to think of themselves as one type of
person, having one career. You can invent in any area of your life."
Lisa said five centuries after da Vinci, we are a part of human history
where everyone can have an idea. "The possibilities of today are
incredible… unlimited," he said.
Martin suggested, "Youngsters need time, away from the screen, to
experience the luxury of letting your brain expand and wander."
Leonardo da Vinci and the Ontario Science Centre's exhibition are,
according to Serbinis, a great recognition that anyone can come up with
an idea and make something if they have the time.
This exclusive engagement of Leonardo da Vinci: The Exhibition continues
to March 18, 2012. For more information, please visit http://ontariosciencecentre.ca/davinci/default.asp.
About the Ontario Science Centre
The Ontario Science Centre delights, informs and challenges the
communities we serve, enriching people's lives and understanding
through engagement with science of local, national and global
relevance. Since 1969, the Ontario Science Centre has welcomed over 45
million visitors, with an interactive approach that was the model for
Science Centres around the world. It is the public centre for
innovative thinking and provocative dialogue in science and technology,
aiming to inspire a lifelong journey of curiosity, discovery and action
to create a better future for the planet. The Ontario Science Centre is
an agency of the Government of Ontario. www.OntarioScienceCentre.ca.
Image with caption: "L to R: Dr. Hooley McLaughlin (Ontario Science Centre), Massimiliano Lisa (Leonardo3), Sandra Martin (Today's Parent Magazine), Michael Serbinis (Kobo Inc.), Wendy Mesley (Moderator) participate in Ontario Science Centre's first-ever Facebook Live Event "Inspiring Inventiveness: Beyond da Vinci" inside Leonardo da Vinci's Workshop: The Exhibition running through March 18th. (CNW Group/Ontario Science Centre)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120203_C9309_PHOTO_EN_9612.jpg
SOURCE Ontario Science Centre
For further information: