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Scientist Temple Grandin encourages kids to create, imagine in book for young readers

Scientist and inventor Temple Grandin is the author of "Calling All Minds: How to Think and Create Like an Inventor." She joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Temple Grandin is an accomplished scientist, inventor and author. She is also an expert in autism research and is one of the most well-known adults with autism.

“I want to get kids interested in making things,” Grandin told St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh on Thursday.

Grandin’s newest book targeting young readers is “Calling All Minds: How to Think and Create Like an Inventor.” She is appearing at a sold-out event Thursday night at the St. Louis County Library that will also be streamed live on HEC-TV.

“I’ve got all my childhood projects in this book,” Grandin said. Much of her inspiration to invent started at an early age, citing her grandfather who was a co-inventor of the autopilot for planes.

The projects include making a kite fly and a boat float. They also include making paper, a kaleidoscope and a parachute.

Grandin is both a critic and advocate of young children and their skills of imagination and invention.

On the one hand, she said kids need to get out and just do things, not spending so much time playing video games. On the other hand, Grandin said she’s inspired by her recent visits to schools where students in makerspaces are designing and creating objects using 3D printers.

Grandin also offered advice to parents of children on the autism spectrum. Such words of wisdom included lessons on responsibility.

In addition to hands-on activities, Grandin’s new book includes mini-histories of groundbreaking inventions and biographies of the people who invented them.

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary EdwardsAlex HeuerEvie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.

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Alex is the executive producer of "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.

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