Domo Arigato, Justin’s Roboto!

Should I be worried that Justin is calling his Project "Sky Net?"

Should I be worried that Justin is calling his Project “Sky Net?” (It’s a “Terminator” reference. Look it up.)

As my sister accurately assessed, Justin is the son my parents always wanted. Allow me to explain….My father is a Dentist (Science) and my mother is a Dental Hygienist (Science), plus she still does the office accounting (Math). They were blessed with a son who had no scientific aspirations and an amazing inability to add or subtract correctly. (To this day, I can still add 2 plus 2 and get 5.) However, Justin has begun to excel in his science and math studies! Even though he is in Kindergarten, he has begun working on fractions and a few weeks ago he excitedly told me about the molecules he built in science class using marshmallows and pretzel sticks.

In an effort to foster his love of science and math, we signed him up for a Robotics Class on Saturday mornings. This past Saturday was his first class. Together, we walked into the classroom and met one of the instructors. She sat Justin down and began to instruct him on what he would be doing. Each child was given a box of “Brain” parts and “Body” parts. They were told to follow the step-by-step construction directions on the iPad in front of them and then program the “Brain” to control the body. I stood in the corner talking pictures and video. It was very exciting.

As soon as the instructor walked away, Justin mouthed the word “HELP” and motioned for me to come over. I quickly walked over to him and began to “assist” him in the construction of his robot. After a few moments, I looked up and discovered a stern-looking woman in the doorway motioning for me to come and speak with her. I told Justin I would be right back and exited the room.

The woman began to chastise me that I was NOT to help Justin in any way. They were fine with me taking pictures and video, but I was not to interact with my child AT ALL! She continued to tell me in a harsh and fairly inappropriate tone that Justin needed to do this on his own so that they would be able to better assess his ability and learning level. Part of me wanted to say, “I’m paying for this and you can kiss my ass if you think I’m not going to help my kid…WHO JUST ASKED FOR MY HELP?” The other part of me thought that maybe I was being a “Helicopter Parent” (one who continually hovers over his child) and that maybe I should walk away.

So – I can’t really blog about the outcome of this adventure because I was asked to leave. I don’t know how it ended!! GWE was allowed to stay with Justin and see his final product, while I was relegated to sitting in the car in the parking lot with Garrett.

According to GWE, it was amazing and Justin built a robot that drove around in a square.  Here is the video:

I have been asked to leave many classrooms in my academic career. I didn’t realize it would be possible to get kicked out of my kid’s classes as well!!

1 thought on “Domo Arigato, Justin’s Roboto!

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