Going the extra mile

This week I have been busy working with Inventor’s Digest and the folks at Make Magazine setting up advertising for our “Race for the Future” 2012. I think that we are embarking on an important mission; that is to gather the creative minds of the nation, perhaps most especially those who are not formally trained engineers and scientists, to work together and inspire each other to solve our energy problems. This heavy advertising is designed to reach those very people and spark their interest.

Another goal for this year is to gain the support of local schools, both primary and secondary, to encourage their students to cultivate creativity in the fields of science, engineering and art.

Joe Markovich related an interesting story to me this week. You may remember that Joe and his family built a car that competed in the 2011 race. His son, Chris, is a senior in high school. Chris’s goal is to go on to college next year and major in engineering; he would like to be accepted to a school that is recognized for its outstanding engineering program. These schools can take their pick of students with excellent grades who are applying each year.  Only the top students are invited for admission interviews, but the field is still large so the interviewers are looking for something special in the students that are finally accepted. Of course the interviewing professors are interested in Chris because of his work with robotics as a high school student but when he mentioned that he had competed in our race in Whiting last year the interviewer’s ears perked up. They were very curious about Chris’s vehicle, how it was constructed, what fuel it ran on, and how it performed. Chris and his father even showed them a You-Tube clip of the machine in action; this fairly bowled the interviewers over. Chris made an impression that will be remembered.

This story illustrates the importance of going above and beyond to be noticed and might spur local high school students and their teachers to field a team for our 2012 competition.

The broader point is that in order to solve the problems that our nation faces, technologically, socially and spiritually we must all go above and beyond our normal routine and “reach for the stars” so to speak, for the solutions.

It takes extra work and effort to turn our ideas and inventions into reality. Our Race for the Future is a call for this effort. If we are going to remain strong as a nation and become energy independent we must be bold and get up off our keasters, roll up our sleeves and get to work.

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