Editorial: Building tomorrow-land

Our area has a lot to be proud of in the Wrens Middle School Beta Club’s National Robotics Championship last week. Not only do we have some amazing students who took the challenge of designing and building this robot from scratch, but also teachers who volunteer after hours assistance, industrial partners who have shared both their knowledge and enthusiasm for science and engineering as well as a community of individuals, businesses and clubs who donated money to pay for this group to attend the national convention. This victory is not just for these amazing students, but also for everyone who helped get them on that Orlando stage.
Victories like this prove to other children (as well as their parents and other adults) that there is no reason to feel that just because we live in a rural community that boasts some of the worst poverty statistics in the country that our potential is limited. Greatness is a crop we can plant, cultivate and harvest.
We are lucky to have people here who recognize that curiosity is valuable and go the extra mile to support it.
“This means there is nothing we can’t do in Jefferson County that can be done in any larger school or larger community anywhere in the country,” School Superintendent Molly Howard said upon hearing the news of the WMS victory.
Too many times it is our own beliefs that cripple us. Before we even muster an attempt, too often we decide a challenge is too onerous or that our resources are too meager. The wide-eyed courage these students showed is a lesson to us all, as is the support we saw from the engineers at KaMin who assisted the boys and the many businesses who donated funds to help pay for the trip.
“This is the type of relationship we want with our area industry and businesses,” Howard said. “Just like the recent partnership with Club Car and the engineering project they brought to 40 middle school students, these industries are looking for opportunities to partner with schools who are ready because they know that their career fields are going to be wanting our type of children who are going to be prepared. Our kids learned so much real world problem solving. I dare say it wouldn’t have been possible without them.”
As we said before, we truly do have a lot to be proud of here, not just in this one victory, but in what it teaches us. For whether or not we are the ones who actually compete, when we work together to support those among us who are willing to accept a worthy challenge, our community can do better than stand at the gates, we can build our own tomorrowland.