High-interest reading article about CREATIVITY.

This article is about creativity and innovation. During a heatwave in Australia, a man cooks a pork roast in his car as an “experiment for fun.”

The creativity mini-lesson and discussion questions focus on trying something new and then observing what happens.

This article goes well with the ASKING QUESTIONS reading strategy.

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Stu Pengelly lives in Perth, Australia. It was extremely hot, so Stu decided to do an “experiment for fun.” He wanted to see if he could cook a pork roast in his car. 

It took around 10 hours to cook the piece of meat in his old Datsun car. Temperatures inside the car reached 81°C (177° Fahrenheit). Stu put a thermometer in the car so he could see how hot it was.

Stu wrote about his fun experiment on Facebook. He shared photos of the roast and thermometer.

“Those of you who missed my experiment for fun yesterday, I cooked 1,5 kg pork roast inside an old Datsun Sunny for 10 hrs on a 39 degree day. It worked a treat!”

Reuters news saw what Stu did. They asked him about the experiment. Stu told them that next time, he wants to try cooking roast beef in his car.

“A quiche would cook in 2 hours, I reckon.”

It was very hot in Western Perth that year. So hot that the temperature in December 2019 was breaking some records. Andrew Friedman is an editor at The Washington Post. He writes about extreme weather, climate change, science and the environment. Andrew wrote about how Australia was suffering from effects tied to climate change:

“Perth, located in Western Australia, has broken its all-time December record for the number of consecutive days (three) reaching or exceeding 104 degrees (40 Celsius)… According to [Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology], extreme heat is Australia’s top weather-related killer.”

A few different news outlets wrote about Stu’s story. Natacha Larnaud writes for CBS News. She wrote about how Stu ended his Facebook post with a warning about the dangers of extreme heat.

“Do not leave anyone or anything precious to you in a hot car, not for a minute… And if you do see kids or dogs in a hot car, do not hesitate to smash the window to get them out as soon as possible.”

Creativity / Innovation Mini-Lesson

Creativity and innovation are learnable skills.

This means that if we are able to put ourselves into a growth mindset, we can recognize that if we do certain strategies, we can become more creative.

Every day, we get stuck into patterns. We hang out with the same people. We eat the same foods. We do the same exercise routine (or not exercise at all.)

These patterns and habits make us who we are. One strategy to help us become more creative and innovative is to do something new or different, and then observe what happens when you break a pattern or change or habits.

Do something different. Try something new. When you do something different, it’s important that you pay attention to what happens. Start to wonder why things happen that way.

  • Observe what happens when you break a pattern and do something new.
  • Observe how you feel.

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