Have We Inspired A Future Engineer?

1/29/2011 - Shannon Park Lego League Showcase @ RMS

Yesterday, I had the privilege of hosting the Shannon Park Lego League Showcase at Rosemount Middle School.  The event was rescheduled from last December, due to a snowstorm.  I am glad we had the opportunity to have the event, even with the long delay.  Our attendance was down a little bit, but for those who made it, a good time was had.

I have been at this for three seasons now, as you can see in my blog site.  It started from some inspiration from Dr. Dean Kamen in the spring of 2008, and today my focus changes to getting a competitive team organized next fall (assuming my son Jacob is still interested).  My thought process in 2008 was trying to build an equivalent of an in-house program, which in theory is designed to reach a broad audience to start, then move to a more focused and competition-ready program (akin to traveling sports) once the foundation is in place.

After leaving the event yesterday, I believe the foundation is there at Shannon Park Elementary.  It is now up to someone else to pick it up and move it forward.  I am ready to start phase two, as described above.

The big question, which will remain unanswered for some time, is “By starting this program, did we inspire a young engineer of the future?”  I would like to think so, but only time will tell.  In my closing remarks to the Showcase attendees yesterday, I encouraged them to never stop asking the “What If?” question.  Maybe, just maybe, this effort will yield an innovation of the future that will improve our lives.

I took my shot on making a big play here.  We’ll have to wait and see if it was indeed a big play.  On to the next one!


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I am a software lab manager in the Corporate Research Lab at 3M in St. Paul.

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