Friday, March 23, 2012
Celebrating 3rd birthday with FLL, Forbidden Earth & WorldWeDream
Today is the 3rd birthday of Menka's Jewelry blog. It feels great to express myself through the blog and connect with people from all over the world. With each post, I feel I am improving a little as a writer and hope to write more provided I could take out more time to write. Believe me, writing every post takes lots of thought and time but at the end, its a wonderful experience and when people read and comment on the blog post, it gives me lot of satisfaction.
On this special day, I would like to wish my blog a very happy birthday by celebrating three wonderful kids I know and their recent achievements.
I will start with my 9 year old son Aditya. Since early childhood days, Aditya loves to play with all types of construction or building toys, be it his favorite Lego, Knex, Soft blocks, Tinker toy or just constructing something with simple paper, thread and scotch tape. In our house, everybody knows who to ask for a scotch tape. A 4th grade now, Aditya along with few other elementary kids formed a First Lego League (FLL) team. FLL is a world wide robotics program to promote science and technology among children 9-16 yrs of age. As a FLL challenge - Food Factor (to keep food safe), Aditya's team needed to create a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS to perform certain missions, research a solution for a problem as part of the project, create presentation and play based on the research and much more. Being a rookie team, the kids and parents were mainly looking to learn about the program and have fun.
Everyone was really excited when the team participated in the district level competition and qualified for the Silicon Valley Championship. The kids worked hard and improvised on the robot missions, play and team activities. At the Championship, they competed with 45 other teams with majority teams having middle school kids; and won Judges Choice Award for Perseverance, a big achievement for a rookie team making their coach and parents proud. Aditya is already looking forward to the next FLL challenge.
Second I would like to tell you about daughter of one of my childhood friend. A middle school student, Sabina Anand is a very talented young girl. She loves art, music, dance and at the same time reading and writing. I remember her sharing her wonderful drawing and sketches when I visited her couple of months back. Last year she got interested in writing a science fiction and recently got her first book published.
Sabina's book Forbidden Earth is a thrilling ride which takes the reader many many years in future where human race has been driven away from Earth by biological computers. Its a journey of Macey (a chirpy teenager like Sabina) to the forbidden part of the planet where biological computers haven't ventured yet. You can find the book on Amazon. Like Sabina, I also hope her book provides inspiration to a Hollywood movie one day. Can't wait to get my own copy of the book and enjoy reading it.
Third is Shubhankar Jain, a Junior at Cupertino High School. As a family friend, I have known Shubhankar since he was a toddler. Always very patient and calm Shubhi as the near and dear ones call him, is a brilliant young man. He is very athletic, runs cross country and enjoys being part of the track and field team of his school. Recently he founded a non-profit organization called WorldWeDream to strengthen the abilities of special needs people and better integrate them into the community.
The organization's philosophy is to foster inspiration and compassion in the society on everyday basis to focus on abilities rather than disabilities. The organization through their website invites people all over the world to share their stories and experiences of inspiration and compassion with people having special needs. They believe that sharing these experiences will help people with disabilities excel in what they can do best and help them be an integral part of the community. Early this week, WorldWeDream was featured in the local news paper San Jose Mercury News. If you or anyone you know has a story to tell, WorldWeDream looks forward to hear from you.
Its my pleasure to know these talented kids and I wish them all the best for a bright future.
Note: Photographs courtesy Google.com, Amazon.com and WorldWeDream.org