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Complaining about today's kids? Check out www.SCRobotics.org's FLL (First Lego League) competitions!
Schools sponsor teams by grades (K-3, 4-8, 7-12, 9-12). Adults coach teams to cultivate critical thinking, team building and presentation skills. This December, Gaffney High School again hosted qualifying competition to send the most inventive teams to state competition.
Teams don't merely build robots. (But they do create incredible robots.) Teams also explore real-world issues and create practical solutions. This year, kids are identifying local recycling problems and devising workable solutions in their schools and communities.
Last year's focus encouraged reading. One team developed a computer game based on the book “Stung” by Bethany Wiggins. Children can access the game by Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, Gaffney High was upgrading its schoolwide Internet connectivity, so Wi-Fi was unavailable. The team couldn't demonstrate its game to the judges.
Henry Giles, Spartanburg Community College president, was attending the event. When he learned about the problem, he searched for help. He found Dr. Quincie Moore, Cherokee County Schools superintendent. A kid on the team explained the problem. Dr. Moore found Chief Randall Byars of the school's Air Force Jr. ROTC. The kid explained the problem. Byars and his cadets spent half an hour devising a temporary connection. The team presented as planned and progressed to state competition.
When the president of a college, the superintendent of schools, the ROTC and dozens of FLL volunteers collaborate on free time to help kids they've never met, they make a powerful statement.
Children are transformed by learning. They learn from parents, teachers, neighbors, and mainstream and social media. They can be transformed by gangs or FLL coaches. We're all responsible for transforming children. So volunteer! Mentor! Teach! Transform today's kids and transform your future! Today's kid are our only hope of even having a future.