Table Top Inventing Podcast

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Tim Vandenberg - Table Top Inventing PodcastCan fooling around, goofing off, and playing help your innovating power?   How can you use Monopoly(R) to teach kids better math skills?  Is there really a killer strategy for playing Monopoly?  Listen in for the playful answers in today's podcast.

Hey there, Innovation Nation!  Today we're just going to play around on the podcast, and we're going to start with a snippet from one of my favorite books:  Surely, You're Joking Mr. Feynman by Nobel prize winning physicist Richard Feynman.  In the book he writes,

"Then I had another thought: Physics disgusts me a little bit now, but I used to enjoy doing physics. Why did I enjoy it? I used to play with it. I used to do whatever I felt like doing--it didn't have to do with whether it was important for the development of nuclear physics, but whether it was interesting and amusing for me to play with..."

So I got this new attitude...  I'm going to play with physics, whenever I want to, without worrying about any importance whatsoever.

Within a week I was in the cafeteria and some guy, fooling around, throws a plate in the air. As the plate went up in the air I saw it wobble, and I noticed the red medallion of Cornell on the plate going around. It was pretty obvious to me that the medallion went around faster than the wobbling...

It was effortless. It was easy to play with these things. It was like uncorking a bottle: Everything flowed out effortlessly. I almost tried to resist it! There was no importance to what I was doing, but ultimately there was. The diagrams and the whole business that I got the Nobel Prize for came from that piddling around with the wobbling plate."

We often watching kids--or even adults--goofing off and we say, "Oh, they're JUST playing around."  We treat playing around as if it is unimportant or useless.  However, here is one of the most famous Nobel prize winning physicists telling us that it was precisely the act of playing around that led him back to a love for physics and eventually to his Nobel prize winning work--or should I say Nobel prize winning playing around?

At Table Top Inventing, we love to play around.  We usually call it "hard fun" because we're actually learning and putting loads of effort into our play.  Yet it is still play.  It is fun, and it disarms students enough that they forget they are learning.  Why don't you grab your smart phone or pull up a browser on your computer and go check out to find out how to get your kids involved in some "hard fun" this summer?  If you know today's guest, Tim Vandenberg, email for special information about our Inventor's Bootcamp in Mr. Vandenberg's backyard. 

Today's guest knows quite a bit about play.  He's a no-nonsense teacher in some respects because he works with middle schoolers, but on the other hand, he uses the game of Monopoly(R) to teach kids to master their math facts and hone their negotiation skills.  Without further adieu, Tim Vandenberg.

Original release date: 6/11/15

Direct download: 039_-_Monopoly_Mania_with_Tim_Vandenberg.mp3
Category:Technology Educators -- posted at: 10:00pm PST

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