Lover's Key, Florida

Lover's Key, Florida

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Monday, May 7, 2012


Off to the track.

Saturday I was at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Yes, there really is a Brooklyn in Michigan.)  Son John, Jr., who is a science/technology teacher at the Michael Berry Career Center in Dearborn, asked me to serve as a parent volunteer at a "competition" involving teams from high schools in Michigan that participate in an event sponsored by SQUARE ONE, a non-profit foundation that encourages high-school students to creatively design and build a car, using a frame similar to one that might be found on a dune buggy and an electric motor and batteries.

It's too complicated to try to explain it all, but essentially it is a very successful effort that seeks to encourage students in high school to use their creativity and ingenuity to design, engineer and build a car that incorporates innovative elements and is also energy efficient.  The car that  John's students built is shown in the top picture.  The bottom picture shows Cecelia, who drove the car in a couple of events doing some last minute preparations to the ear piece that she wore.

While most of the teams that entered were able to build their cars in their school's shop facilities, John took pride in knowing that his team was comprised of students in a computer class that he teaches.  His "shop" was a bench in his carpeted, computer classroom.   They even had to provide their own tools.  American ingenuity at its best.

What impressed me most about the day was seeing students involved in a real-life learning experience where they had to learn to think on their feet and problem solve.  Additionally, and most importantly from my perspective, I saw young people experiencing the many good things that result from teamwork and cooperation.  As a bonus, in my role of parent volunteer I attended the main entrance to the raceway, and was able to greet and talk with many proud parent who had come to support their children.  All-in-all, a most satisfying day.

Of course, Dear, this would have meant so much more had you been there with me; beaming with pride about your son and enjoying meeting the young people from their diverse cultures and backgrounds.  

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