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All Kinds of Minds

Temple Grandin is the author of Calling All Minds. The book is a mix of science, history, and memoir. ROSALIE WINARD

Imagine. Tinker. Create. Successful inventors have long followed these steps. In her new book, Calling All Minds, Temple Grandin explores the history and science behind many of the world’s most groundbreaking inventions. She told TFK that her goal is to “inspire young people to make things.”

Calling All Minds describes all kinds of inventions from history. The book also offers step-by-step instructions for 25 kid-friendly STEM projects. Those include homemade paper, fast-flying paper airplanes, and wooden sailboats.

But the book is not just about inventions. Grandin also reflects on her childhood. She says she was teased for being “different.” She preferred working on science projects to socializing. Kids called her “tape recorder” because she repeated things.

Now, Grandin is an esteemed professor in animal science at Colorado State University. And she is one of the most well-known adults with autism. The condition begins in childhood and affects how a person’s brain develops. While there is a wide range of symptoms, most people with autism have problems communicating with others. For Grandin, her symptoms improved with age. And she says her autism gave her a unique perspective on the world that paved the way for her success as a scientist.

“In my experience there is no normal,” she writes in Calling All Minds. We need to “understand how important different kinds of thinkers are, especially where creativity, innovation, and invention are concerned.”