The key to innovation and problem-solving is creativity. It helps students think outside the box and come up with new ideas, which is critical to the rapidly evolving STEM fields. STEM education that emphasizes creativity helps students develop critical thinking, communication skills, and a passion for learning for their whole lives. STEM education that fosters creativity helps students come up with innovative solutions to complex challenges.

Here are some important ideas and readings from key publications around the world:

Creativity Skills is Crucial to the Future of Work

The Educational Challenge for This Decade: A Story in Two Graphs
If we start teaching humans to be better at what makes us uniquely human – our ability to think creatively – we stand a better chance of improving our students’ educational and career outcomes

The number of routine jobs has been steadily declining as machines are getting better at performing complex tasks with fewer errors than humans. As A.I. and automation continue to improve, even those in the S.T.E.M. fields will require to harness their creativity to stand out in the job market.

Sadly, most schools today remain heavily geared towards teaching "one right answer," which machines excel at, rather than allowing students to exercise their creativity by opening up to multiple answers and possibilities.

We are teaching machines to be more like humans and we are teaching humans to be more like machines"

Innovation = Creativity + STEM + Entrepreneurship

How do creativity, STEM and entrepreneurship work together to result in innovation?
Learn what innovation means to the National Inventors Hall of Fame, including how creativity, STEM and entrepreneurship factor into innovation.

Creativity refers to the ability to think outside the box and generate new ideas. STEM provides the technical skills and knowledge to turn those ideas into reality. Entrepreneurship involves taking calculated risks and turning those ideas into successful businesses or products.

By combining these three elements, you get innovation—the ability to create original and useful products or processes that can benefit society and drive economic growth.

“If we worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true really is true, there would be little hope for advance.” – Orville Wright

Problem-Solving Skills are Key to STEM Success

Why STEM? Success Starts With Critical Thinking, Problem-Solving Skills
Our educational system is tasked with preparing the next-generation to succeed in life. That’s a tall order and it will substantially fail if it doesn’t teach children how to think critically and solve problems. In a post entitled “STEM Education: Why All the Fuss?,” I wrote, “Educating students in…

Students should be encouraged to be creative, curious, and love to solve problems by linking subjects such as math and science to real-world relevance. Through hands-on, project-based learning, STEM education emphasizes using math and science to tackle real-world problems. As a result of this teaching method, students can recognize the significance of their work for both themselves and the world at large.

Once students grasp fundamental STEM ideas, they are encouraged to choose a problem, explore, plan, experiment, and enhance a feasible solution using their creativity and curiosity.

A OECD study found a strong and positive correlation between performance in problem solving and performance in maths, reading and science.

Creativity a Transferrable Skill in STEM Fields

Arts qualifications: They are key to a STEM future
Many of the skills and behaviours in arts and creative digital qualifications are transferrable to the STEM sector, writes Ann Marie Spry

STEM fields provide individuals with many opportunities to develop creative thinking abilities. These skills, including problem-solving, critical thinking, and collaboration, can be applied to a wide range of real-life situations and are highly valued in various industries.

Transferrable skills are valuable not only for employers but also for everyday use. Achieving greater success and fulfilment in life and work can be accomplished by developing transferable skills in STEM through creative thinking.

The ability to adapt, innovate and self-organise are key characteristics of creative students.

Diversity is Critical to STEM Excellence

Diversity in STEM: What It Is and Why It Matters
Innovations resulting from science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields have positively touched nearly every aspect of human life.

The capability to view the problem from different angles, not just intelligence, is often the crucial factor in finding a solution. Therefore, when groups of intelligent individuals are attempting to solve challenging problems, the diversity of the problem-solvers is more critical than their individual aptitude. Hence, promoting diversity is not separate from improving overall excellence, it is essential to attaining it.

Through the encouragement of different viewpoints, students are empowered to approach problems in their own unique manner. Teachers can assist students in developing their problem-solving skills and bringing new ideas and innovative solutions to the classroom by creating an environment that values and encourages creativity.

Additionally, integrating art and design into STEM education helps students develop a more holistic understanding of the world. In doing so, they can approach problems from different perspectives, fostering a sense of inclusion and diversity.

The ability to see the problem differently, not simply “being smart,” often is the key to a breakthrough.


The importance of fostering a creative approach to STEM learning can't be overstated. Encouraging students to think creatively gives them a lifelong love of knowledge and critical thinking skills. As well, incorporating creativity into STEM education can help students break down barriers, foster respect for diversity, and let underrepresented groups get their voices heard.

In an increasingly competitive and rapidly changing world, it's more important than ever to equip students with transferable skills and knowledge they need to succeed. By encouraging creativity in STEM learning, students will be better prepared to cope with future challenges and will be able to solve problems in new ways. It's time to value and foster creativity in STEM education so our kids can thrive in the 21st century.

Creative STEM-Inspired Activities for K-3

Here are a few printable classroom activity ideas to promote creativity through STEM learning:

Junior Entomologist: We Love Insects
Let’s dive into the incredible world of insects.
The Natural Water Cycle: Creative Printable Worksheets for Kids
Find out how H20 moves around the planet.
Design Robots from E-Waste: Creative Printable Worksheets for Kids
Apply your creativity to identify ways to recycle and re-use e-waste.
The World’s Next Big App Idea: Creative Printable Worksheets for Kids
A printable app design pack for kids who love technology and want to build their own app.
How I Would Use Renewable Energy: Creative Printable Worksheets for Kids
Our printable pack will challenge your child to think far beyond what we can power today with renewable energy.

Our K-3 Creative Activity Printable Bundle

Boost your lesson plans with our innovative collection of printable activities for the year. "Over 100 projects with more than 400 printable sheets" to spark imagination and foster creativity in your classroom for the whole year.

PBL and Genius Hour Supplement Printable Bundle (K-3) - 2023 Edition

This creative activity bundle is jam-packed with over 100 projects with more than 400 printable activity sheets for 6-9 year olds. With a focus on creativity and hands-on learning, this bundle is perfect for keeping little learners engaged, designing and creating for an entire year.

An excellent resource for teachers, subs, parents and caregivers looking for fun and creative activities to keep kids busy and learning. It's perfect for use in the classroom, at home or on the go. With so many activities to choose from, kids will never be bored!

  • Over 100 projects with more than 400 printable sheets.
  • Printable sheets mainly black & white. 
  • Includes links to supporting online resources.
  • File size: 166.5 MB / 518 pages.
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