Thursday, May 10, 2007

Of Rock Stars, Robots and Students

Saw two interesting K-12-related stories on Tuesday. Both involved great kids. Both involved rock stars (well, one rock star and one scientist being treated like a rock star). And both showed how motivated students can be when they find their groove.

Story 1: Pop star Fergie visited Seattle's Franklin High on Tuesday to give a free one-hour concert. Students there entered a fashion contest sponsored by the singer's cell phone sponsor. The challenge: Demonstrate their fashion style using cell phone photos the cell company representatives uploaded to the Web. Visual scanning software assigned points based on how closely they captured Fergie's style. Apparently Franklin's students are more fashion forward than any other high school in the country, thus the visit!

Story 2: NBC Nightly News showed how 8,000+ students from across the country (and across gender, ethnicity and income levels) used their passion for science and engineering in the FIRST Robotics Competition. Student teams build using robots they created to advance through a series of competitions. The program was created by Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway scooter. According to NBC's Bob Faw:

The assembled brainiacs treat organizer Kamen like a rock star because he believes that's exactly how the country should treat them.

"What we have to do is have them develop a passion and excitement to excel at things besides bouncing a ball," Kamen says. "You're a winner because of this experience."

Not sure we'll see Fergie and Dean join up any time soon, although that could be interesting! Nevertheless, two very different approaches to inspiring young people's creativity.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I know I will catch grief from you on Monday morning, because my Ballard Beavers were aced out on Fergie's contest. Beavers have never been slaves to fashion, but if Sig Hanson, from The Deadliest Catch were to offer up a similar contest, the Ballard boys would win, hands down.

Go Beavs,