In an appearance sponsored by Kepler’s Literary Foundation, Dr. Temple Grandin was in Menlo Park last week talking about her latest book, Calling All Minds, and her life in general, taking questions from a sold-out audience that included elementary and middle school children at the Hillview Performing Arts Center.

The author of numerous books, Temple is a professor of animal science at Colorado State University, a consultant to the livestock industry, and autism spokesperson.

She talked passionatly about the importance of visual thinkers in the world and how essential their ability to notice  details is. She said that people with autism should not limit themselves and can achieve great things, saying at one point, “there wouldn’t be a Silicon Valley without a little bit of autism.”

“The educational system is screening out visual thinkers,” [by no longer providing hands-on classes like wood work and sewing],” she continued. “Visual thinkers see the risk; engineers and mathematicians calculate the risk.”

Written for children ages 8 to 12 (grade 3 to to 7), Calling All Minds explores the ideas behind questions like how to make a kite fly, why golf balls have dimples, or how to make a kaleidoscope. Temple delves into the science behind inventions, the steps people took to create and improve upon ideas as they evolved, and the ways in which young inventors can continue to think about and understand what it means to tinker, to fiddle, and to innovate.

The book is available at Kepler’s (1010 El Camino) and Kepler’s online.

Photos by Lena Kalotihos (c) 2018

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