Thursday, November 08, 2012


Today I made my presentation on the Wisdom of the Hands at the ISACS conference, and will have one more presentation tomorrow afternoon. I also attended a presentation on Robotics by staff from the Breck School from Minneapolis. Robotics is a great way to get kids engaged in working with their hands which Breck manages through an afternoon and weekend program using the First Competition program. First offers students and schools the chance to compete to complete challenges of mind and constructive imagination in venues similar to athletic events. Some schools even offer letters for participation similar to what athletes may receive for participation in sports.

National First Robotics Competition
I am an advocate of using every available resource to get the hands engaged in learning, whether it's drama, wood shop, dance, music, laboratory science, physical education or any number of direct approaches. I was reminded by the president of our board, at Clear Spring School we don't ask, "How smart is this child?" But rather, "how is this child smart."

Where the hands are engaged, the heart may also be. Robotics is one good way of engaging the hands and imaginations of many students. In some cases the journey it offers can be "transformational."

 My thanks to  A. J. Collanni and Gene Jasper for an interesting and informative program.

Make, fix and create...


  1. Doug,
    There are 2 F.I.R.S.T. robotics leagues, FIRST Lego League is for kids from 9 to 12 and is do-able on a small scale while FIRST Robotics is for High school teens and is expensive. My kids competed in Lego League, the robots are awesome, in many ways more advanced than the larger robots in FIRST robotics. Besides building a robot to solve the years challenge they also do a research project which they present for judges. My daughter is a 4 time MN state champion and took second and third in the world with her teams. Now I must prove that I am not a robot to post this!

  2. FIRST is how I got my start.