New Year’s Resolutions for the Innovator in Everyone!

We see people learn and build new things every day at The Tech, and LOVE when they’re inspired to try something beyond our museum doors. This year, skip the same weight loss song- and-dance and let’s innovate those 2019 resolutions!

1. Use a new tool

Helping visitors create with new tools is kind of our thang. Resolve to learn a new tool or two this year, like a riveter — that’s what we used for our cookie cutter making activity. (Here’s how!) Or an embosser heat wand to make those cards sparkle. Can’t find the perfect shelf for your keys? Get a drill and some wood and get to work! That feeling of accomplishment when you’ve made something new can’t be beat.

2. Get to know new scientists and engineers

You’ve learned about Ben Franklin. You know about da Vinci, but do you know about the first computer programmer Ada Lovelace or transgender neurobiologist Ben Barres? How about Patricia Bath, who invented the LASIK surgery that’s allowing some of you to read this article sans glasses right now?

There’s a whole wide world of inventors approaching things from new and unique perspectives. Follow accounts on Twitter like 500 Queer Scientists. Read a book about Rosalind Franklin or watch “Hidden Figures” featuring NASA computer scientist Kathryn Johnson.

Our friend Caitlin shows off a cookie cutter she made in The Tech Studio.

3. Adopt a “Yes, and…” attitude

It’s not just for improv! Instead of hearing an idea and thinking of all the ways it can’t work, think about the ways it can and then expand on it even more. Shifting the way you think about a problem can help you be creative in solving it.

4. D-I-Y instead of B-U-Y

Try making all the presents you give this year. Pick one skill and build on it — or mix it up all year long. Candle making, soldering circuits for light up T-shirts, creating pop-up cards, leather wallets, etc. You’ll flex your making might and impress friends in the process.

5. Do something that scares you

Hate public speaking? Try reading a poem at an open mic night. Afraid of saws or hammers? Get some advice from your local hardware store, and then make a bookcase. Taking risks is an important part of innovation, and overcoming your fears is the first step.

6. Solve more puzzles

Make it a goal to solve one new puzzle a week. You may love your daily crossword, but give your brain some different styles to chew on! Try sudoku, jigsaw puzzles, word searches, or Rubik’s cubes. The world is your tangram.

7. Work in a team

Try an escape room or trivia night with friends. Working with people who think differently from you will help you be a more creative problem-solver. Try taking on tasks as a team too. Invite people to help you plan a birthday party, organize your closet or build a playset.

8. Volunteer with a new community

Empathy for your users is an important part of engineering design. Try volunteering in new neighborhoods or communities like the library, food bank, shelters, senior homes or museums like The Tech! The more people you get to know, the more inclusive and creative your designs will be.

Make some of these resolutions happen in 2019 and you can ring in 2020 with a Techtastic BANG!

Build your own NYE 2020 light up glasses, create a Rube Goldberg machine that ends with a champagne (or sparkling cider) waterfall, code a Furby to belt out “Auld Lang Syne,” or make your own epic ball drop.

Happy New Year, Innovators!