Innovation happens at the intersection of disciplines. It is rare for any creation to be completed with ideas and knowledge from just one "subject." It is unfortuante that students and educators learn subjects instead of applications.
The solvers club members exercise thought, experiment, work in multiple team configurations towards well outlined but underspecified goals. This emulates a real world scenario where people get together to solve hard problems applying the creative output of multiple interest groups and disciplines.
Brainstorming, argumentation, persuasion, reasoning are all required in order to get through most of the solvers club activities. Members learn to enjoy the struggle that is required in learning or creating anything of value, they learn to work with others that have opinions that contradict their own, they fail, fail again and eventually succeed.
The Solver's Club is a general skill development institution. Our primary focus is problem solving. We envision our members to become deep thinkers and leaders of their generation.
Leaders and thinkers that change the world are polymaths and autodidacts. That's not a coincidence.
Good problem solving requires exposure and understanding of many disciplines (art, math, science for example). Our activities touch upon many of those areas. However, we keep our focus on problem solving.
We do not expect our members to excel at any one specialized skill (programming, story writing, origami for example). We expect them to be open to taking up any problem and giving their best.
Most of the Solvers Club activities are organically created in our lab. They result from our thematic exploration of creative outcomes that are researched, evaluated, brought onto the table after they are ready.
Once they are on the table, Puthiralis carefully observe the members engage with the activity. Observations are then evaluated and incremental imporovements and changes to the activity are done and tested. The improved activity is brought onto the table during the next cycle.
With the world shrinking every minute, remote work becoming the norm, it has become vital that children grow up with sufficient cross-cultural awareness and knowledge. Brain buddies is setup with the overarching goal of connecting children from different geographies, family backgrounds and interests through a shared common activity - board games.
Puthir's advisor Scott Kim runs an after school program in partnership with a few schools in the US called Play2Learn. Scott's program is aligned with the solvers club in terms of using board games as an effective teaching and learning tool. Scott also runs MathMonday a program to get children and educators engage with Math through games and puzzles.
Brain buddies takes advantage of this overlap in forging a learning connection across the ocean through the medium of games. The program will be kicked off humbly with the children introducing and playing traditional games with each other.
MathMonday, Play2Learn and Puthir shall expand the program to suit the needs of the children based on the level of engagement and interest.
To sum it all up…
Kids travel on diverging tracks,
Ideas fragmented as concepts and facts,
Not knowing that when they grow up,
They need to put everything together
To make something of themselves.
At the solvers club, everything is connected.
We focus on their creation,
The greater sum of the parts.
For only when they venture into the forest
They know the trees' real purpose.