Temple Grandin to speak about her career and promote her new book, ‘Calling all Minds: How to Think and Create Like an Inventor’ in Fort Collins this weekend

Claire Oliver

Temple Grandin’s books for the signing this coming Saturday. All the books are available for purchase at Barnes and Noble. (Claire Oliver | Collegian)

A hands-on experience using tools to build and invent may sound like a thing of the past, but esteemed writer and professor Temple Grandin, Ph.D says otherwise in her new book, ‘Calling all Minds: How to Think and Create Like an Inventor.’

Grandin, a Colorado State University professor and advocate for learning will be holding an interactive book signing at Barnes & Noble in Fort Collins this coming Saturday.

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The signing will take place on June 23 at 2 p.m. at the local Barnes and Noble off of College Avenue. All are welcome and encouraged to bring in any of Grandin’s books to sign. Seating is limited but tickets are not required for attendance. 

Grandin recently released her new book, ‘Calling all Minds,’ which is a collection of 25 different projects that encourage children to build things with their hands.  The book focuses on children 8-years-old and up and has a wide variety of projects for a variety of skill levels.

Jennifer Zidon, the community business development manager at Barnes and Noble, has been working with Grandin for several years to organize book signing and other interactive events for the community. 

Dr. Temple Grandin’s new book, ‘Calling all Minds’ focuses on thinking like an inventor and how to use tools to create things (Claire Oliver | Collegian).

“She always comes in with any of her books and talks about autism and there are always lots of parents who have questions about their autistic children,” Zidon said. “She has become a mentor for these parents and for educators that work with autistic kids.”

Grandin herself is autistic and has been a beacon for other members of the autistic community.  Grandin advocates for the equal treatment of people with autism in the professional world and has shed light on what it means to be autistic based on her personal experiences.

Before the signing, the Fort Collins Creator Hub will be hosting an interactive workshop for kids to come in and build some of the projects in Grandin’s book.  Some of the projects include  paper water balloons and other cool projects.

The workshop will be a fundraiser for Fort Collins Creator Hub and will begin at 11 a.m. before Grandin’s book signing.  Fort Collins Creator Hub provides access to tools and materials that are not always readily available at home.  It is a ‘maker space’ and focuses on bringing out the creative side of the Fort Collins community. 

For more information about the nonprofit, Fort Collins Creator Hub, visit their website: http://www.fortcollinscreatorhub.org/

Zidon is excited to pair the work of Grandin and the Fort Collins Creator Hub to promote hands-on experience for kids. 

“I think the book is great,” Zidon said. “I am a parent as well and I think that we protect our kids a lot and I remember when I was growing up, I could use my dad’s hammer whenever I wanted. So I think that with these 25 projects it gets kids back to using their hands and thinking about creations they can make.” 

The book not only benefits kids but is a great way for educators to create interactive environments in the classroom according to Zidon. 

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She has become a mentor for these parents and for educators that work with autistic kids,” Jennifer Zidon, the community business development manager at Barnes and Noble

“(The book) is pretty straightforward and she goes into the theory a little bit on why it is important to actually use your hands and your fingers,” Zidon said.  “And think creatively about inventions and so any person, educator or student that is inventive would really be attracted to this book.” 

Purchasing Grandin’s new book is not necessary to attend the signing and the event is free to all members of the community.

Collegian reporter Claire Oliver can be reached and entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @claire_oliver21.