It made me sad.
It reminded me of how difficult it is to fully fund inspiring activities for students in our school systems. The letter explained that two teams from our local middle school (not where I teach) won the state Odyssey of the Mind Tournament and are now headed to the world finals at the end of May.
Except it goes on to explain that despite their numerous fundraising activities, they just do not have the funds yet for the 14 students to cover travel costs, lodging, meals, and transportation of materials. (It will cost about $1,000 per student.)
Isn’t it sad that students may miss out on an amazing STEM opportunity like this due to lack of funding?
It would be awesome if this were an isolated story, but sadly it’s not. I am sure almost every school extracurricular activity (especially STEM ones) has a similar story to tell. My Team Kennedy teammate, Kaci Heins, is currently raising funds to take a small group of students to see the launch of a rocket in June. It will be carrying an experiment they designed to the International Space Station! She has also been conducting a series of fundraisers for this project from the initial funding needed to get a spot on the rock to get the experiment on the International Space Station to travel expenses for the students to attend the launch.
It’s amazing that students have these incredible, authentic experiences in problem solving, engineering, and science. These are the type of adventures that hook students into the STEM careers that we keep hearing so much about.
But it’s sad that it takes so much to fund inspiration. I wonder what the solution is?
Feeling inspired yourself to help out one of these many worthy causes?
Donations for the Odyssey of the Mind Teams can be made out to DMS-OM and mailed to
C.W. Davis Middle School, c/o Kim Carroll, 4450 Hog Mountain Road, Flowery Branch, GA 30542
You can contact Kaci Heins via Twitter for information on how to donate funds to her students for the launch
And if neither of these interests you, find something amazing happening at your local school, and go support it!