Robotics Challenges Bring Yesterday’s Lessons to Today

What a great weekend it was in New Orleans.  The National World War Two Museum hosted a robotics competition for middle schoolers.   Some amazing innovations were discovered and implemented during World War Two.  Amidst all the tragedy and carnage, many of those innovations paved the way to make our lives better today.

English: Mock-up of the expanded National Worl...
Mock-up of the expanded National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Of course, we don’t want to ever have to fight a war to innovate.

But, it’s important to learn the hard lessons of World War Two so we can try to keep from getting involved in similar situations in the future.  These middle school age kids learned those lessons while also learning about robots and how to innovate at the museum.

Presented with Home Front-related challenges, the teams scored points on the WWII-themed playing field by completing missions like scrapping metal by placing a tin can in a collection bin, collecting crops from a Victory Garden by moving plastic vegetables and building equipment for the war effort by placing the turret on a Sherman tank model.  In addition to building a robot, each team devised a modern conservation public relations campaign based on the scrapping efforts on the Home Front during WWII.  Teams created a contemporary propaganda poster, a commercial and a press release to describe their campaign.

As a trustee of the museum, it really warms my soul when the museum undertakes events such as this.  I believe it warms the souls of those old soldiers that are still with us as well.  Our volunteers down there love speaking and interacting with children.  It’s why I donate my time and money to the museum, and encourage others to do the same.

Nothing could be more important than teaching our children the history of our country, while simultaneously teaching them how to use innovation to make their country better in the future.  Next year, why not get your local middle school involved.  There are plenty of other ways for kids to interact with the museum from afar as well.  It’s not a stagnant place, but a living breathing memorial to those that have gone before us-and brings their memory home to our time.

Click over and read the whole piece.  See the photos of the kids from several states having fun.


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