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Inspiration

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Nicholas Devlin

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Editorial – Inspiration

Leonard Valenzuela

Growing up as a child, I had a few goals in mind: one was to create a Pokémon from genetically modified animal DNA, another to be able to go into space and befriend an alien on their home planet, and perhaps to someday invent a technology that would give you the ability to fly or be invisible.

There were many more plans I had hoped to accomplish, but when the truth of reality set in, the dream practically shattered and lost all of its potential value. The sad part about this was that I accepted the fact that I felt incapable of doing what it is that I wanted to do, when told to “think more realistically.”

I recently attended a robotics competition held in the athletic center with participants that I did not expect: middle and high school students. What I witnessed was incredible, seeing all these creative, young minds show passion in their innovations and in a competition. The best way I can describe the objective of the competition is that it was almost like “Hungry Hungry Hippo;” whoever’s robot passed the brief obstacle course and collected the most balls won the round. If their robot did not pass the obstacle course, they would have to go back to recalibrate the robot and return in a later round.

What struck me was that every team had their own unique uniform that one could describe as “nerdy”— and that was awesome. These kids didn’t care how ridiculous their outfits were or about competitive, yet respectful, attitudes they had against other teams. They were themselves in their own little world with something that they were very passionate about doing. Beyond the pride and glory of winning, however, I saw students more interested in learning and improving their robot rather than proving whose robot was better.

This is something I feel that is dying in this generation. People nowadays are more concerned with how they dress and how they look and end up looking more alike rather than standing out. People forget that there are more important things in this world than having “swag.” Passion in advancing in science and technology, to me, seems to be lessening every year and is being replaced with new and useless social media trends that take over the new generation’s society.

We all used to see the world through the eye of a child, up until we were taught to see it more realistically. We lost that inner passion to dream of wonders and awe and the possibilities of where our minds would take us. What these students gave me was the inspiration to keep learning and keep doing great things that would benefit the world.

The day that I spent at this competition taught me that not only are there young minds that still think freely about the possibilities of innovation, but that there is hope that people still value knowledge and education in our social media crazed world.