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What’s Your Curiosity Type: Artist, Explorer, Inventor, Scientist?

Summer is on the way. Summer, a time that opens fresh, new ways for our youth to spend time away, with a chance to leave their usual classroom routines and be in camps that encourage, inspire, and build new friendships, STEAM skills, sports skills, or some of all of these. Except not this summer. The Summer of 2020 will be different. But for some, just a new way to challenge their curiosity. 

COVID-19 has imposed a new way of life on many of us. For many of our young people who look forward to summer, the camps they had planned on are closed or are about to close. Last month, just days before the Covid-induced shut-down, I joined a panel of other AAUW members to interview and choose a small handful of young middle-school girls for a science camp opportunity at Stanford University this summer. We interviewed several girls, all eager for the chance to engage with similar others on this outstanding adventure–then it was cancelled.  Would this abruption leave them to wander–or to wonder

I believe these talented 12-and-13-year-olds will look at what new challenges the virus presents and see this as an opportunity. For one of the most outstanding things these students showed our panel what it means to be curious. From them, I learned that they approach problems with curiosity and that their curiosity will see them through challenges now and in the future. 

Each young student was her own story. Each told our panel about how all her life (that’s only a decade +) she challenged her hunch about the life of snails, or pet behavior, or applications of robotics, or to find out how to make the world kinder, cleaner, or safer. Sometimes, many said, their experiments worked out and sometimes they didn’t, but that didn’t deter them. They were curious to know more and try again. The exciting thing is that there IS always more to know. This virus will not be a show-stopper for them. We have much to learn from their zest for life. 

What do you want to do right now? What do you want to do from now on? I pose these questions to all of us, from anyone who is just starting out like our young middle-school students, to all the rest of us who think that our choices and careers have been upended or are over. 

Take a page from these young and curious students who are destined to be our future leaders. Ask yourself: What you are inquisitive about? Maybe you already know where you’ll  land in one of these curiosity types: Are you an Artist? An Inventor? A Scientist? Or an Explorer?  Not sure? Here’s a brief test to take to give you an idea: Curiosity Types

The outcome on what type I am? It concluded that I am a scientist. But I’m inventing a new product now and am a co-founder of a startup. I think I have some of each of the four types. What about you? Are you curious enough to find out? 

Next year is another chance to meet new students and hear about their quests. I can’t wait. I learn so much from them.