Mar 28, 2011
R2D2 and C3PO
Being the wonderfully nice daughter I am, when my mom asked me to join her at her robotics kick-off Saturday morning, I agreed. Wait. That's a lie. My parents took care of our child Friday night, and I felt the least I could do was help my mom out in her time of need. My mom is an amazing teacher, seriously, if every teacher was more like her our educational system would be ridiculously amazing. How she puts up with elementary aged children 5 days a week is beyond me, but she does it, and does it well. On top of her science teaching duties, she also started a robotics team at her school.
When she first started this program, I pictured robots much like those pictured above. She tried explaining it to me, that the kids had to program their robots to accomplish various tasks. And friends, there are no remote controls involved. I finally saw these little leggo like 'bots in action, and was rather impressed.
Saturday, I helped her set up and ensure kids were at the tables they are assigned to at the right times. Seeing them in action was so fun, and watching their eyes light up when their robots did what the kids wanted them to was more than worth it. There are many people in this city that would not expect much from "her kids," in fact, I am not sure the parents of the kids who participate in the robotics program really get it. And, that is sad.
However, those kids did a great job! There was one student who, in my inexperienced opinion, will do very well at the actual competition next month. On one run, there were others standing around watching and saying, "wow, he did some cool stuff. He really programmed his robot well." Although the kid was concentrating intensely on the task at hand, he heard every word, and it caused him to grin from ear to ear. One judge even said that this kid received the highest score he had seen all day. Let me tell you, that young man walked out of their with a new confidence. And that's what made the morning fun.
Let me be honest, I was supposed to be herding the students to where they needed to be, but I ended up being more of a team cheerleader. Yes, I received a few sideways glances from the kiddos when I gave a round of high fives and shouted, "good job!" but that's ok, it was worth it to see them do so well. It made me light up when they received high scores and when observers complimented them. I cannot even remember their names, but I am so proud of them. I am proud of my mom too because even when everyone else says these kids can't, she knows they can, and provides them a way to succeed.