With team names like “The Loose Screws,” “Robo Warriors” and “Geeks in Just Their Underpants,” it was a safe bet the FIRST Tech Challenge Virginia Championship would not be your average scholastic event. True to form, the daylong robotics tournament in Richmond March 1st mixed equal parts technical ingenuity, competitive spirit and uncanny humor.
The Steward School in Henrico County is turning the student-teacher dynamic upside-down, placing babies at the head of the class. Health teacher Meredith McGuire recruited Dr. Charles Terry, a local pediatrician and Steward School board member, along with a group of babies and toddlers to lead lessons on human development.
December marks the beginning of competition in this year’s FIRST Tech Challenge, with qualifying matches scheduled across Virginia in the coming weeks. More than 140 teams statewide now participate in the fast-growing FTC robotics program.
Albert Einstein once said, “To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.” This is still true for us today as it is increasingly more important for our children to learn to be creative thinkers and problem solvers. For us to compete globally, we need to teach our kids to be flexible thinkers who can develop solutions, not just memorize facts for the next test.