Table Top Inventing Podcast

Show Notes | YouTube | iTunes


How does a small town girl become an associate dean in a college of engineering? Do you have to get a PhD to have an important position in a university?  What is ThinkBox, and why should we care about it?  Join us as we consider the idea space within universities on today's podcast.

This is the podcast where we talk innovation.  On today's podcast, we are speaking with an innovative Associate Dean who thinks regularly about the free exchange of ideas within the university, which reminds me of a great quote by Alfred Griswold in his "Essays on Education".  He said,

"Books won't stay banned. They won't burn. Ideas won't go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas. The source of better ideas is wisdom. The surest path to wisdom is a liberal education."

I had the great honor to go to college as well as to graduate school, and I'm quite certain bad ideas can only be banished by better ideas.  This concept was born in the heart of a university.  Alfred Griswold was the 16th president of Yale University and had quite a bit to say about a concept in higher education we call "Academic Freedom".

The concept of academic freedom and I became great friends while I was in graduate school, and I believe with all my heart there should always be a respected place in society where all ideas area accepted in with open arms, shaken around until they get dizzy, and then the ones that can stand up on their own get to stay until better ideas come along.  Here in America and the west, the university has always been that place.

Many new ideas are being run through the testing grounds of universities these days, including makerspaces, the hottest technologies, and every other imaginable idea.  Here at Table Top Inventing we are particularly excited about Inventing, Making, and using a full body experience to discover deeper learning.  However this week, we want to give a shout out to all those amazing professors and educators who have helped shape who we are and what we do.  If you're curious about what we do, visit to find out.

Our guest today is Lisa Camp.  Lisa is the Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives in the Engineering School at Case Western Reserve University.  I have a soft spot for Case because it is my alma mater for graduate school, and Lisa shares some of the cool things that are happening at Case and other universities around the country--particularly around makerspaces and the free exchange of ideas.  Without further delay, let's find out more about Lisa.

Original Release Date: 09/24/15

Category: Technology Educators

Direct download: 05420-20Thinking20Free20with20Lisa20Camp.mp3
Category:Technology Educators -- posted at: 8:36am PST

Show Notes | YouTube | iTunes

Can we actually get smarter?  Is IQ as static and unchangeable as we've been taught?  What is the path to getting smarter?  Join us for a thought-provoking discussion on today's podcast.

Hey there Innovators!  Today's guest will challenge your perspective on the world!  According to the late Dr. Reuven Feuerstein,

"The chromosomes do not have the last word!"

If you had the same biology textbooks and took the same developmental psychology classes I did in college, you were no doubt taught that IQ is a fixed quantity, independent of age and learning.  I never did like that answer because I always felt like I wanted to know more, be more, do more.  The idea of any fixed quantity bothered me then, and still grates against my optimistic view of the world.

Well, recent research is beginning to give a scientific basis for the results achieved by Dr. Feuerstein and others who have believed for years that cognitive modifiability is real.  Perhaps my grandma was onto something when she did that crossword puzzle from the newspaper every week.  New research indicates that exercising the brain strengthens it just like the muscles in the body!  This is great news for be because now I can train for higher performance, but it is particularly great news for those with traumatic brain injuries, learning disabilities, or other cognitive challenges.

These new ideas underline more than ever, the advantages of practicing and training the native creativity in teenagers.  We'd love to talk to you more about inspiring your teens to deeper questioning, higher problem solving, and broader creativity.  Just visit to learn more.

Today's guest is from the National Institute for Learning Development.  Kristin Barbour has been working with traumatic brain injury cases for years and now serves as the executive director for NILD.  Brace yourself for some unbelievable insights with Kristin on today's interview.

Original Release Date: 09/17/15

Category: Business Professionals

Direct download: 05320-20Getting20Smarter20with20Kristin20Barbour.mp3
Category:Business Professionals -- posted at: 4:58am PST

Show Notes | YouTube | iTunes


How do you escape from the burnout trap?  What is the path from merely existing to really living?  What will our kids learn from our work habits?  Join us for the compelling answers on today's podcast.

Hey there Innovators!  Today's guest has seen the world from many angles and has some perspectives on how to find a life worth living.  As the old proverb goes,

Find something you love to do, and you'll never have to work a day in your life.

Our philosophy at Table Top Inventing revolves around helping students find the joy in learning.  We believe the first step to a happy life is to explore then to do more of what seemed to work.  That doesn't seem too complicated, but how many of us have worked in jobs we don't like, all the while telling ourselves we really need the money?

We never want students to wander into life without an idea of what they love to do.  If your student or child is creative and inventive, go to to find out more about how Table Top Inventing can help.

Today's guest is from Hawaii, but not too long ago, he lived in Milwaukee, WI.  He was sleeping 4 hours a night as a bread delivery guy and not getting much time with his kids, but now he's writing and speaking and loving life.  How can such a change occur?  Let's find out!

Original Release Date: 09/10/15

Category: Business Professionals

Direct download: 05220-20Really20Living20with20Kimanzi20Constable.mp3
Category:Business Professionals -- posted at: 2:35pm PST

Show Notes | YouTube | iTunes

What is so powerful about the question, Why?  Is the path to success a straight road or a crooked and winding path?  How is skateboarding related to corporate finance?  Join us for the circuitous answers on today's podcast.

Hey there Innovators!  Today's interview is with a guest from the future.  I won't spoil the surprise on that one.  I love to elicit questions.  I believe that questions are essential to life, and I'm in good company because Voltaire said,

"Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers."

I am fond of the idea that answers are very short lived while questions can be self-perpetuating and almost immortal.  If I ask, "How does water fall?"  You could say, "Under the influence of gravity, water falls at 9.8 m/s^2."  That answer takes less than five seconds to say, but if I accept the answer, that's the end of my curiosity in that direction.

However, it turns out that the answer just given is only a small part of the processes possible with water.  By hooking a water hose up to a speaker or mixing water with Ethylene Glycol or watching water drop into sand, hundreds and thousands of new questions arise each leading to more questions.  Our guest today calls this the search for "Why?".  This simple word can lead to the farthest reaches of outer space or to the inner universes of atoms, nuclei, and even stranger things...

Here at Table Top Inventing, we believe that the best questions don't have simple answers.  Complexity and the intricacy of the real world can be a vehicle to a never ending stream of inspired questions.  Questions are the beginning of a quest, and quests can lead to all sorts of interesting places.

Our after school Inventor's Guild classes in Thousand Oaks, Hesperia, and Orange County are designed to be the genesis of intelligent questions not simple run-of-the-mill answers.  To learn more, email or visit

Today's interview was recorded on a Sunday from a guest on Monday.  How is that possible?  Well David Seto is an interesting character, and I connected with him while he was in Hong Kong on Monday which was Sunday afternoon here in California!  David has tried everything from law to finance and is now trying his hand at entrepreneurship.  He grew up in NYC, and his parents literally owned and operated a "mom and pop" store.  Let's find out how a kid from NYC grew up to be a curious coordinator of corporate finance.

Original Release Date; 9/3/15

Category: Business Professionals


Direct download: 05120-20Asking20Why20with20David20Seto.mp3
Category:Business Professionals -- posted at: 4:07pm PST