Daughter's Journey Into Technology

At last week's  Women Of The Channel Leadership Summit, CRN Executive Editor Jennifer Follett challenged us to blog and participate in this site. Here is my first blog (ever).

As a mom, I am constantly amazed at my two daughters. They are the light in my life and I feel blessed to see the world through their eyes. As a working mom in technology, I hope they choose to be part of this exciting sector in their future. 

This blog is about my 13-year-old daughter and the start of her journey into technology. Two summers ago she did a two-week robot camp. Basically they learn how to build and program their robot design and compete against other kids in their age group. Jackie is a naturally good at math, but that is not the only skill needed.  It requires team-work and planning for the obstacle course to build/program a robot to complete a task faster and better than the others.

The first summer, Jackie did well amongst her peers and there were not many girls who participated.  She then enrolled in the school year program for 2015-2016. The competitions were a new challenge.  The lesson of "team project" is not an easy one and proved to be a challenge in 6th grade.  Her and her partner did not always agree on design and direction.  One of the competitions, her partner did not show up so she had to scramble to find a substitute to not be disqualified.  The substitute partner had a different perspective and they worked really well together.  She enjoyed this one much more than the previous competition.  It opened her eyes to how much fun it could be with the right partner.

This year, 2016-2017, she had a very different partner experience. Both girls had their voice and their strengths shined though. One was better at programming and one was better at design. I realized these kids are learning far more important things than just programming. It encompasses all the skills we use in our professional life; communication, negotiation, listening, having the right attitude, tenacity to solve a problem and not give up.   She is setting the foundation for success in the future, whatever field she chooses. 

These lessons are so much bigger than we first anticipated. I am so proud of her spirit to keep pushing forward. Next stop, New Jersey State Championship!

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