On October 14, 1947, Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in a plane nicknamed Glamorous Glennis, an X-1 rocket plane built by the Bell Aircraft Company. At the time, it was a feat considered impossible. (Did you know the speed of sound actually varies depending on temperature?)
Since then many people have wondered if we’ll ever break the light barrier. Considering how many “impossible” things have been accomplished since 1947, we probably shouldn’t dismiss the possibility entirely. However, for now, the technology doesn’t exist. According to NASA’s Glenn Learning Technologies Project, “Light travels at a constant, finite speed of 186,000 mi/sec. A traveler, moving at the speed of light, would circumnavigate the equator approximately 7.5 times in one second. By comparison, a traveler in a jet aircraft, moving at a ground speed of 500 mph, would cross the continental U.S. once in 4 hours.” The human body simply can’t withstand such speed and force.
While traveling at warp speed or faster than the speed of light probably won’t happen soon, sometimes it seems that the world around us is already moving at warp speed. And for kids, all of these changes and advances can be overwhelming.
We often focus only on the advantages technological advancements bring to us. (They are pretty amazing, aren’t they!) We also might assume that because our kids have grown up with technology as a normal part of their lives, then they won’t be negatively impacted by it. Millennials or Gen Y were the first to have a close relationship with technology, but that pales in comparison to the connection between Gen Z and technology.
Technology does allow us to be more connected than ever before. We can have video chats with friends and family all over the world. We can build relationships with people we’ve never met. Learning is at our fingertips. But these same advantages can be disadvantages, too.
Building relationships online is not the same as building relationships offline. Watching a video about how to create something is not the same as creating it yourself. One of the most important ways we can help is to teach our kids how to connect the world of technology – and all it has to offer – with the world around them. We can provide plenty of opportunities for face-to-face collaboration and hands-on learning that also incorporate the promises and possibilities technology offers.
One example is Bricks 4 Kidz® Video Game Design & Coding program. The ability to code is a key component of technology education today. This coding program teaches students important strategies to enhance logic and problem-solving skills, as well as help them work toward becoming technological innovators of tomorrow. Bricks 4 Kidz® Robotics program is another example. Elementary school students use software programs on PCs and laptops to program the model builds they craft using Bricks 4 Kidz® model plans and LEGO® Education products. Our programs are designed to promote STEM skills and encourage collaboration, innovation and teamwork.