Summer Programs for Teens Who Think Outside the Box

Thinking “outside the box” is a term that is used to describe any creative process that doesn’t necessarily follow the normal rules or guidelines.  For example, Pablo Picasso grew up in the era of Impressonist art, but quite literally drew outside the lines and launched the cubist style of art that we know today.  The Russian composer Igor Stravinsky would stand on his head before composing because he believed it helped “clear his brain out” – turns out it actually can help improve circulation and get the creative juices flowing.  Hey, whatever works!  We started Atlas Workshops to encourage students to be more creative in tackling issues around the world.  We take students from a diverse array of backgrounds with different interests and (literally) put them in spaces where they must think “outside the box.”  Ultimately, this method causes students to come up with better ideas and gain global and creative confidence. Of course, thinking outside the box is a broad term that cannot easily be defined. There are many ways to think creatively, but in the end, it is up to students to decide what approach works best for them.

We believe that summer programs are one of the most fun and interesting ways to help students express their creativity.  Our summer programs are learning experiences that take place entirely outside of a classroom, allowing students to have real-life, hands-on experiences in a part of the world that is entirely new and exciting.  Applying learned concepts to new, dynamic situations is one way to get students to think creatively, but there are countless techniques.

Some examples of creative thinking are:

  • Asking “what-if” questions: Sometimes the easiest way to jump-start the brainstorming process is to voice out loud all the crazy ideas you can think of – some of them might not be as far off-base as you think!
  • Roleplaying: Putting yourself in the shoes of the person who is directly experiencing the problem you’re researching can provide valuable insight.  Also, imagining being the policy maker who has to deal with the problem can help keep your solutions grounded and practical.
  • Immersion: In a similar vein, going on a trip to experience first-hand how people live and are affected by different factors is one of the most immersive ways to learn.  We think this method is a crucial step towards becoming an empathetic, passionate, forward-thinking leader.
  • Art: Any activity that can be used as an outlet for creativity can translate into other aspects of your life.  Theater, drawing, music, art …all of these things are an excellent way to introduce creativity into your life.
  • Design thinking: Design thinking is an innovative problem-solving process. Starting with research and inspiration, many ideas are developed and tested before picking the best solution to move forward with.

How can we motivate teens to think outside the box? We are constantly pushing our students to break past the boundaries of the classroom and engage in the world in a manner that enriches their lives and the lives of the people around them.

Summer Programs for Creative Thinking

Summer is a great opportunity for students to push themselves to think outside the box. Summer Programs for teens can expand creativity in lots of different ways. Many programs directly translate to some of the skills above — like theater camps, art classes, STEM summer programs, or role playing as well. Summer can push your teen to be more imaginative, and creative, and stand out even more.

Or Think Outside the Box on a Global Trip With Us:

Our Global Innovators: Summer High School Tripsattract teens who look at problems differently.  These teens are passionate about learning, and want to help tackle the issues facing our planet.  Whether their interests be engineering, healthcare, design, architecture, city planning or something else, Atlas Workshops has summer programs for high school students that are sure to excite and inspire.  in 2016, teens on our summer programs will be heading to Croatia, Scandinavia, Germany, the Czech Republic, and India.  They will be working on subjects like transportation, public health, economic growth, and technological innovation.  We hope to effect lasting change in the minds of our students and to change the way they view the world.  Our goal is to inspire creative thinking and out of the box ideas. With the right tools, one person can make a difference.