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Applying our core engineering and scientific knowledge and skills to research problems is important, but another vitally important skill to solving tough, open-ended problems, is creativity.  If you haven’t seen it already, this is well worth your 20 minutes to watch:

“If you are not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original. By the time they get to become adults, most kids have lost that capacity [to be wrong]. .. .they have become frightened to be wrong… the result is that we are educating people out of their creative capacities.”