According to a UNICEF study, the United States ranked 18th out of 24 countries in “relative effectiveness of their educational system” in 2003. I searched a little bit for more up-to-date stats and didn’t find them. Still, this stat is recent enough to make my point.It’s a fact; the educational system as a whole is regressing right in front of our eyes in many places in the country.
But last weekend I saw something that renewed my faith in the youth of America. I went to my kid’s robotics competition at the directionally challenged school in our state – The University of South Florida – IN TAMPA!
Each of the 25 teams pits its robot against the others, and I’m telling you that watching these robots perform is not only highly amusing, it’s downright impressive. Folks, these kids are brilliant. During the brief intermissions in between matches, the emcee was shouting out trivia questions that were far over my head intellectually … and these kids not only knew the answers, they knew them down to the very last detail.
Even the team names were unique. They included Exploding Bacon, Ro Ro Ro Your Bot, Team Duct Tape, Spontaneous Combustion and, of course, my son’s team – Built and Dangerous (B.A.D.).
They may not be the most athletic kids on the planet, though a few of them actually do play on sports teams. But they will be the ones who are the CEOs of major corporations and the ones who invent things that will improve the quality of life for the next generation and beyond.
And I, for one, and proud to be the parent of such a child.