Monday, March 25, 2013

What Will The Students of Tomorrow Learn?

I'm going to take a wild guess and say robotics. At least, I think it will happen here in America. My reasoning  is based on an event I recently went to at Gull Lake High School in Richland, Michigan. They were hosting the 2013 FIRST robotics competition in Michigan. I chanced upon the event when I was checking out the local High School flier for the Gull Lake area. FIRST was the cover story and a highlighted upcoming event, and the article promised something akin to the television series Robot Wars I used to love watching as a kid.

Students from all over my state came to the competition with their robots in tow to put the robots they built to the test. These kids spent several months building and testing robots they made, with the help of mentors who are professional engineers and scientists by trade. Each group was excited and living up to FIRST's name which translates to, "For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology." Groups had mascots (who danced to pop music in between competitive rounds,) buttons, posters, and stations where you could talk to them. These kids were enthusiastic and ready to do their best in the ring.

Morgan Freeman had it right, "It's the Super Bowl...of smarts!" While not as violent as I may have anticipated it being from my earlier exposure to Robot Wars in early thousands, these competitions were still quite the spectacle sometimes exciting and sometimes downright funny. I had a blast as a spectator, but as a writer and fantastical thinker I couldn't help but wonder whether these teams of high school kids would become more common place as time went on. It seemed possible to me that, The Flying Toasters from South Lyon, MI (who were by far my favorite team) might actually become a supported sports/ mathlete team of the future. I also wondered if it wouldn't become part of regular curriculum over time.

I would venture they will. I hope that programs like this will continue to flourish throughout the U.S. and take kids towards careers that are not only practical, but that will become the superstars of the future. I'll be curious to see how events like these will be incorporated into the books and stories as well. Until then happy writings, and oh, yeah....


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