E = mc² oh sure, we've all seen it before...Einstein's Energy = Mass x speed of light in vacuum² ...but I am suggesting another equation for it...Education = Mass x Collaboration² . Face it...if you have enough people en masse grouping together and applying what they know to education and to educating others...that's some pretty powerful stuff going on there...and not just for destruction...but for creating...for creating a lasting love of science...or whatever else you happen to be teaching.
And that's just what happened Saturday at the University of West Alabama in Livingston at the Science Olympiad competition for students in the 3rd-6th grades. What? You didn't even hear about it? Well, I'm here to tell you that is definitely a shame...as Bill Nye would put it..."Science rules!" And these kids ruled! They should ALL be commended for undertaking such a task...on a Saturday of all days...forgoing their day to sleep in, their soccer games, their sleepovers...for a cause...a cause that literally went unreported. Oh, sure...ABC news out of East Mississippi/West Alabama reported this...but I think it should have gotten more notoriety than that...and not just because my daughter participated (and won first place in all three of her events...hey, I can brag, she's my kid, after all) - but because there are so many children out there who are doing something positive in their schools who never get mentioned...who go unnoticed in their community...unless they do something bad. That is just not right...it's extremely prejudiced in a society that prides itself on trying not to be.
I'll be completely honest here...I didn't know there were any of these competitions until my daughter started participating two years ago. And that is sad. Personally I think there should be many more schools getting their students involved in these competitions...and many more news stories reporting about them. It's not just about winning...altho, yes, it's always nice when you do...but it is about getting kids involved in something they ordinarily wouldn't. As my online friend just stated to me a couple minutes ago about a school competition where he lives in California..."It's done with kids at all grade point levels...which means the coaching is all important". The key here is to instill in children that they CAN have fun at these events...and they can learn something from it...which is an all important key: If you make learning fun...you learn without it being tedious. And we, as parents, educators, and adults...owe it to children, be it ours, or someone else's...to inspire them to keep plugging away at it and someone will take notice.
Well...I noticed this past Saturday, for what it's worth...and I would like to sing the praises of all those involved...especially those at the University of West Alabama's campus (which hosted this event)...and the people at Alabama Power (who helped sponsor the event)...and of course the individual school coaches and young adult volunteers...but MOST of all...the children who wholeheartedly delved into this with such positive attitude and gave up many, many hours of their free time for the chance to become involved in something very worthwhile which hopefully they can remember all their lives. Would a little memento such as a newspaper clipping with their names in it be too much to ask for? I certainly don't think so...I think they are definitely worth it...they are OUR future, and that's extremely relative.
(I will try to get all the names and post them here at a later date.)
As promised...and graciously supplied by the University of West Alabama's Science Olympiad coordinator, Ms. Ketia Shumaker...who, with her team, did an exemplary job hosting this past Saturday...I give you the names of the students who participated (in no particular order) and their coaches/volunteers:
Linden Elementary School (Linden, AL) 2 teams
St. Bede Catholic School Blue Team (Montgomery, AL)
Mary Frances Miles
Ann Marie Dean
St. Bede Catholic School Gold Team (Montgomery, AL)
US Jones Elementary School (Demopolis, AL)
4th Grade-U.S. Jones
5th Grade U.S. Jones
5th Grade Team B- U.S. Jones
3rd, 4th & 5th Grade U.S. Jones
Livingston Elementary (Livingston, AL)
Team 1: Livingston Tornadoes
Team 2: Twirling Tornadoes
West Alabama Preparatory School (Demopolis, AL)
2006 SCIENCE OLYMPIAD COACHES
Aubrey D. McElroy
Ollie H. James
US Jones Elementary
Linden Elementary Teachers
Linden Elementary High School Student Coaches
St. Bede Catholic School
West Alabama Preparatory School Coach
Again, I would like this opportunity to congratulate each and every one of these people on a job well done...you are to be commended. Give yourselves a well-deserved round of applause...you certainly earned it.
A Bit About Me
- Mariann Simms
- Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".