Star Wars lingo, the young Jedi trainees are called "younglings". I
know there is fretting that our own "younglings" are not interested in
science and other structured education and that we have a "quiet crisis". Then there is this column in USA Today "If Einstein was a genius, why did he not cash on it?" by an ex-scientist urging kids to instead become movie or sports stars
Clearly, all of us technologists should be getting our young more excited about computers and calculus, but I saw something really heartening earlier this year.
5,042 kids (that's not a typo - we took over the giant Gaylord Opryland hotel campus) from K-1 through K-12 from all over the US converged for 3 happy and sad days of checkmates and good, clean nerdy fun. Back home, they are likely surrounded by an average of another 10 kids who play somewhat more casually and by a growing ecosystem of local coaches, tournaments, camps etc. It is comparable to what soccer was in the US 20 years ago.
Click through this list of kids who were at Nashville - some of these "nerds" will likely be our future science and technology Jedis.
My kids did not have a great tournament but as my son said he was glad to be at the "Olympics". Now we need to keep kids like that motivated and make columns in USA Today and elsewhere more supportive.