Have you ever wondered whether thinking like a genius could be a learned skill? Can innovative, breakthrough thinking actually be taught? The developers of the ASIT method say yes, and Invention Highway is designed to introduce this fascinating method of thinking to people as young as 9 all the way up to adults.
The ASIT (Advanced Structured Inventive Thinking) method is based on research that concludes that, in fact, creative solutions to problems have some common characteristics. As such, a methodology can be taught that helps to open the mind to more creative, inventive thought. Ironically, this mind-opening method is based on the Closed World Principle. It suggests that many solutions to problems can be found by reorganizing components of the problem itself. The training manual included with this software cites many real-world examples of inventive thinking based on this principle, one of which is the polio vaccination. While scientists were searching in all sorts of areas for a cure for polio, it was in 1953 that Jonas Salk found the answer from the problem itself!
If this kind of thinking piques your interest, you might find Invention Highway an "inventive" program. This CD-ROM provides 12 simulation games based on the ASIT method and its four thinking techniques (Unification, Multiplication, Duplication, and Breaking Unity) in an engaging and helpful environment.
The manual provides an explanation of the method on which the program is based as well as condensed and detailed solutions to each of the simulations. The friendly professor-like guide provides some feedback and recaps the steps involved in solving each puzzle once it has been successfully completed.
This title is compelling, especially to those who love brainteasers. Users will solve problems that include fixing a flat tire and sending a parcel by mail while protecting it from being tampered with. A 9-year-old tester found the games challenging and sometimes frustrating, but couldn't stop playing them until he had completed all 12 puzzles. Thatís quite a plug for the program, as its focus is not on fancy edutainment gimmicks but on the educational puzzle-solving process itself.
Ultimately though, the program is disappointing only because it ends rather abruptly. There are only 12 puzzles to solve, and while completing these puzzles is a wonderful exercise in thinking, it leaves players wanting more. Once a puzzle is solved, it would have been more rewarding to be able to expand upon the playerís newfound knowledge through variations on the puzzle. Our tester felt that once he was finally starting to get the hang of the principles, it was the end of the life of the software. That is where BCIís companion web site comes in it helps to fill some of the void. Purchase of the program earns a 6-month free subscription to invention-highway.com where new puzzles, upgrades, and the like are available for further study and development.
A school edition is also available.