The course is taught by a man named Joel Phillips, a college instructor in Alabama. Mr Phillips was an “Edison trait” kid, and he teaches these classes with the goal of engaging children in the love of electronics and encouraging a possible future career in an electronics field. His courses are particular suited for those children who also have the “Edison trait.”
Now I have some of you wondering what the Edison trait is. To answer that, you need to know a little bit about the inventor, Thomas Alva Edison. We all know he grew up to be an incredible inventor, but what kind of child was he?
Thomas Edison was the kind of boy who learned by doing. It’s said he burned down his father’s barn while trying to figure out how fire worked. He was 6 years old. He was homeschooled because in school he was usually daydreaming or in constant motion. His teacher labeled him “addled,” and his father thought he was stupid. Edison was distracted, disorganized, in perpetual motion, creative, and wildly imaginative. He loved experiments and his mother gave him free reign in that respect. Sound familiar yet? It’s quite a familiar description around these parts!
If this is sounding all too familiar to you, then I encourage you to click over here and then on “Edison Trait” to read an excerpt from the book, Dreamers, Discovers and Dynamos (formerly titled, The Edison Trait) by Lucy Jo Palladino to learn more. A few of the traits mentioned include:
Expects the Unexpected
A child with the Edison trait makes sudden, astonishing connections. Because his inner critic disallows neither the ridiculous nor the sublime, he can be innovative, ingenious, and fascinating. He can see ordinary things in extraordinary ways, which is the very essence of creativity.
Sense of Humor
His sense of humor is disarming. It stems from keen perception and the ability to see things from a different perspective. Sometimes he exhibits the kind of straight-from-the-subconscious humor that makes successful stand-up comics so funny. He blurts out ideas that are just under the surface, things that most others would have automatically censored.
This is a child who stands up for his own ideas, especially when they are uncommon or nonconformist. He is an independent thinker and does not rely on the opinions of others to form his own judgments. In a matter of personal interest to him, he stands firm with conviction, even in the face of strong opposition.
Hyperfocuses and Persists
When the Edison-trait child is intrinsically motivated, he has formidable mental power. If he is working on a project that is his own brainstorm, he is determined, tenacious, and persevering. As if by magic, he can work for hours involved in what he is doing. He finds ways to overcome barriers; his passion sees him through. In matters of his own choosing, he has inner direction and resolve.
Is Diverse and Intense
Edison-trait children are pluralistic, nonconforming, and multifarious. Once they begin to speak on a topic of their choosing, clear your calendar … you’ll be here for a while. Flights of fancy are common. One thing leads to another, though sometimes the connections are not apparent to the rest of us.
Has a Mind That Is Holistic
The Edison-trait child notices and reacts to things from any and all directions, so he is likely to have a global sense of places he has been. Take this child to the shopping mall and he’ll probably be able to lead you back to your parked car.
Lives on His Own Schedule
Time passes slowly for this child when he is not engaged in an activity of interest. Otherwise, watch out! When an Edison-trait child works on a project of his choosing, he is dedicated and determined.
Loves to Come Up with Ideas
Some do this slowly and dreamily. Others are like kernels of popcorn popping. Many do both. They have qualities of being both a whimsical Dreamer and a high-charged Discoverer or turbulent Dynamo.
Maybe, it’s just me, but the Edison Trait sounds a little bit like ADHD!
If you believe your child, age 8 or older, has
ADHD the Edison trait, consider enrolling him or her in the next session at Quick Study Labs. Your child will love you for it and you’ll love checking off that science box every day for 8 weeks! Even if your child doesn’t have the Edison trait, he or she will likely find this course fun and interesting and you can still check those boxes!
Ben has been begging for a long time to take another class with Mr. Phillips. I’m signing him up for a class in the spring. Hopefully, we’ll see you there!
Snap Circuits are great fun, even if you don’t sign up for a class with Mr. Phillips. Here is the set we have, pictured above (and the one Mr. Phillips uses for the class Ben took): Snap Circuits SC-300 Physics Kit, ages 8-15.