Our day began with a visit from the adorable kindergarten children from Mrs. Thaxton’s class. We thanked them for praying for us and then showed them around. Each student showed them something he had been working on (lights that light up, noises, buttons, etc.). They also learned a little bit about a few tools. We let them put some wires into the breadboard, too. Then Josh & Jesse demonstrated the robot. We enjoyed the children’s enthusiasm!
The rest of the day was self-directed and the guys stayed on task quite well. Looks like we hung an Arduino board or two, but at the end of the day everybody left with a working kit. That alone is amazing! Everyone made progress. Bill completed his wood box for his music box, made up a new song on the Arduino, battery-powered it, and began creating the enclosure to house it. Jason added another row of LEDs for his cube. Jesse cut apart his strip board and moved a few steps closer on his LED project. Joseph got his Simon game soldered, snipped, and working. Vinnie put knobs on his potentiometers and finished mounting the audio jack. Josh, well, he gets the perseverance award for the day. Due to a frustrating “feature” he spent most of the day trying to figure out how to fix a hung Arduino. We were unable to revive it, but fortunately I picked up an extra Arduino the other day so he will be able to continue working on his proximity-sensor project at home.
While we enjoyed pizza for lunch, Vinnie shared a favorite verse for his devotional:
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” I Timothy 4:12
He said that even if others seem to dismiss you because of your age, don’t believe the lie that what you do isn’t valuable and important. Youth can make a huge difference. Youth can accomplish important tasks. What youth do matters. However, it’s important to remember that this will only happen if good choices are made concerning speech, conduct, and how others are treated. He challenged the students to be an example that others could follow. It made me think about how all those little 5-year olds were looking up to these guys and who knows what kind of impact they could be on these precious little ones.
Everyone’s favorite part of the day was cleaning up the lab – well, not really – but I’m pleased to say that everyone had a good attitude and our goal was to make it cleaner and nicer than when we arrived. I think Mr. Carr will be pleasantly surprised when he comes back to school!
In closing, I had such a blast this week watching these young men grow and learn. Watching them struggle and succeed. Watching them encourage each other and serve other people. Watching them grow in self-discipline and self-confidence. What a blessing to be a part of this rich experience!