Wednesday, January 27, 2010
When I was first told that I was chosen to be in the Fab Lab Group to meet the President, I was astonished. My jaw dropped when I heard those words from my principal, Mrs. Valentine. I was so nervous that I was not going to be able to articulate myself to a man of such high education and power. I was constantly thinking, “What if I forget my name?” or, “What if he thinks I’m not intelligent?” I was so nervous, I forgot to let myself breathe and relax and just hope for the best. I had so much excitement in meeting the President and showing him how Fab Lab can increase the knowledge of our everyday classrooms.
Finally, after all the anticipation and practice, the big moment arrived and I could not wait to show President Obama what my classmates and I had been working on. As the Fab Lab group and I lined up to walk over to the Advanced Technologies Building, I could feel the nerves begin to take over my body. I felt like I was in trouble when I was being searched by a member of the White House, but I knew it was all about the safety of the President and ourselves as well. When we finally arrived at the Fab Lab, I felt overwhelmed but ready to show everyone what my classmates and I were capable of doing. My partner, Tajah Davis, and I were working on our Cereal Box, when I saw that the press and the President had walked into the workshop behind me. All I remember thinking was, “Oh my gosh, the President of the United States is standing behind me.” I had a smile on my face from that moment until I fell asleep that night. When Obama shook my hand, I felt that I could do anything I put my heart to, because when I touched President Obama’s hand, I felt as if he believed in me. From that day forward, I have not let anything stop me from doing anything in this world.
From this experience, I can take away so many things that will help me reach my goals and dreams in my lifetime. This showed me that someone as big and famous as President Obama could notice people like me and Lorain County are important. It shows me that even though I am not a famous person, does not mean that the huge world cannot hear me and know me. I am going to stand out in this world, and I am going to make a difference in the American Society. I also hope to show the world how the Fab Lab can change the way students learn and hopefully create more Fab Lab’s throughout the world.
This experience of meeting the President of the United States will be one of my greatest memories of all time. Also, I am so blessed to experience this opportunity. I could not have done this without the help of my classmates and my teacher, Miss. Blankenship. Thank you so much for a priceless moment.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
January 26, 2010
Welcome President Obama
On January 22, 2010, I met the first African-American president, Barack Obama. That day so many thoughts ran through my mind like what I was going to say or wear. Before meeting the president, I was interviewed on what my outlook was at that point. The entire time this experience felt unreal until he actually walked into the FabLab. The FabLab is a creative and hands -on -learning experience. It is a great resource for geometry class because we can get accurate and precise measure of angles and shapes by using the laser cutter and the other utensils in the lab. There are many FabLabs throughout the world, and I am glad to have had the opportunity to share this experience with not only my peers, but the president. The anticipation was building as we waited for him to enter the classroom. Unexpectedly, President Obama walked in the FabLab with a bubbly personality. He filled the room with such a warm presence. He shook our hands and talked to each one of us. I held my composure but inside my stomach was in knots because of how nervous I was as he stood right behind me. It was a remarkable experience to meet him. I will always treasure the memory of this once in a life time event. It was a great honor to be one of the few students chosen to represent the Lorain County Early College High School located on LCCC’s campus. How many people can say they shook the President’s hand?
Early College High School
January 26, 2010
My Presidential Visit
My Presidential experience was one event in my life that I will not fail to remember. Initially, I was very tense about meeting President Obama; I did not know what to look forward to. When he walked into the FabLab, I did not feel nervous because I believe that he is an average person with a great deal of importance. I noticed that he was not overly professional; he did not have an imperious attitude. Instead he was outgoing and meaningful. He was very cool, walked around and hugged us and shook our hands, asked our names, and just had fun.
Fablab is about taking your ideas and creating and designing 3-D shapes and objects that you can turn into reality. CorelDRAW allows you to calculate and make objects that you cannot do by hand. My Presidential experience was magnificent and this event will be one that I will keep with me and be able to share with others. The Presidential visit was electrifying, and I realized how much of an opportunity Early College High School really is. I truly want to thank Ms. Blankenship and Mrs. Valentine for giving me a chance to experience this and for picking me to be in the presence of the President of the United States.
; Tajah Davis ( 16yrs old )
Akil M.S. Blanton
During my presidential experience, my heart never stopped racing. It started when President Obama entered the room. President Obama was a very down to earth person. President Obama came into the room announcing, “Now, what is going on in here. Sorry if I am interrupting.” In this spilt second, I lost focus and I could not help but to chuckle, but then I was back to being serious. While he walked around the room, he talked to each of the students, then he was behind Paula and I. This is the one moment when my heart stopped. President Obama first asked for our names and shook our hands! This interaction was the most nerve racking, exciting, and frightening thing I have ever done. After that, we were asked what we were doing. Paula and I answered by telling him that the whole point of being in the FabLab was to design a cereal box that used less material but could contain more product. President Obama then asked how we could do that, in response I answered, “By decreasing the width of the box.” Once we were ready to design our box, we then told President Obama that instead of making it on a printer we were creating it inside a laser cutter. Finally, President Obama had to move on, he shook our hands once more, and then he moved to Tajah and Chelsea. This six minute experience is by far the highlight of my school years.
Now comes the fun part, getting ready for the meeting. We had amazing pizza and cookies that the school provided for us. Then we began to talk about our bucket lists with Ms. Valentine and Ms. Blankenship, which really helped calm the nerves. We cleaned up, and went through security, which wasn’t as fun as I thought because I wanted to go through the huge airport security ones. So then we waited in a college classroom, which confused me because I thought we were just going to the Fab Lab right away.
Then, we traveled along to the FabLab. Personally, I think the FabLab is an important piece of learning because the FabLab helps us learn how to do new math things in a different and more technological way. We were making cereal boxes that day to see how we could go green. I was nervous because my best friend Desirae, who was also chosen, told me that she already saw the president. My heart beat was sky rocketing and it felt like my heart was going to explode. Then, as soon as I was semi back to normal, President Obama walked in.
President Obama was so energetic when we came in and visited with us. When he was going around and shaking other people’s hands, I became more level headed because I wasn’t as nervous anymore. President Obama was really excited to meet us, and we were excited to meet him. As for continuing the cereal box making, my partner and I were getting frustrated because we couldn’t figure out how to change the width without making it all lopsided. Mr. Zitek, the FabLab director, really helped us out with the program we were using, Corel Draw.
I was kind of sad that we didn’t get to finish our cereal boxes, because the FabLab crew wanted to beat the traffic. We then went back to the study hall and watched President Obama live via LCCC telecast. Overall, my experience on Friday was life changing. I cannot wait to tell my children and grandchildren that I met one of the nation’s presidents. I am glad that I was chosen and that I got to represent Early College High School when meeting President Obama.
Kelsey Gallaher :)
Monday, January 25, 2010
I was, however, slightly nervous and excited about Obama showing up into the Fab Lab. All the hard work we had all put in to prep for his arrival: from working 12+ hours a day for 2 to 3 days straight, to the crazy and unexpected jobs and deadlines that needed to be met and completed, wondering if any of us, including myself, would be able to get it all done and would it all be good enough for the president or not. I have to admit it was worth it though. Just to say that I was able to be that close to a very influential person, one that a lot of people look up to was awesome. Not a lot of people can say that. And it is certainly not something that happens everyday.
I remember being in the Fab Lab helping one of the students on a problem he was working on. When I had looked up from the computer screen, I saw him. The president was standing in front
of the ShopBot looking up through the glass window that separated the students and myself in the Fab Lab from where he was standing in the CIM Lab. His eyes were glued to the duel projector screens behind me. One of them was displaying a picture of the ShopBot, the other was showing the 25 watt laser that was cutting one of the students' box project. Obama's first look on his face was along the lines of "I want to be in there because that looks so cool". And I just stood there and smiled because I saw a change on his face that I had seen so many times before, with so many different people before him. It was a look of discovery, disbelief, amazement and a (very large) bit of those creative gears turning in his head.
After Noah had walked out to start up the ShopBot for the president, Obama went around to all the students in the Fab Lab and shook hands with each and every one of them. He would ask what they were doing, how they were doing it, what they thought of the lab and even helping one of the students with one of the geometric problems they were working on. That was cool.
It just goes to show that no one is immune to the addictiveness and creativity that is harnessed in the Fab Lab, not even the president himself. I am pretty sure that we did Neil Gershenfeld and all the other Fab Labs proud that day.
Once on campus and through security, it was a normal day in the lab. Students visiting from a high school were learning geometry by constructing three-dimensional boxes on our two Epilog lasers, and everyone was discussing how to build the best box or helping one another. All of a sudden I saw several people enter the room and I heard "Sorry to interrupt you guys…." I recognized that voice from somewhere. It was President Barack Obama! I took me a second to put together in my mind what was happening, I was surprised to see the President in the Fab Lab, even after preparing the lab for so many hours in the days preceding.
Once he was in the Fab Lab, he stopped by a table to greet Desirae and Akil, two high school students who were working with me to design and create a rocking chair. He looked over our 1/6th scale prototype (made on the laser), and also checked out our first full-size model (built on the ShopBot). Next he went around our horseshoe-shaped computer table and spoke with each student about what they were learning and how they were going about their designs.
While he was doing this, Desirae, Akil, and I hurried out to the ShopBot to get it running in time for the President to see it. I was worried we wouldn't be able to start and warm up the machine in time; as I turned on the power to the spindle and started the warm-up sequence I had to ask the Press to step back from the machine and put on their safety glasses. Desirae powered up the dust collector as Akil manned the emergency stop button. Finally the machine was ready to make another rocking chair.
After viewing the main part of the Fab Lab, President Obama glanced out the soundproof window overlooking the Shopbot with a look of curiosity on his face. The Press snapped away pictures. Moments later he appeared walking through the door and approached us at the ShopBot. He shook each of our hands and asked us our names. "Wow," he said in an impressed tone, "so you just tell the computer what you want to make, and this machine will make it happen?"
At that moment, as he watched the machine trace the profile of the chair, I realized that our little lab was much more significant than I had ever imagined, we actually impressed the President of the United States!
Just before he left our lab, Desirae asked the President "Can I get a high-five?" He said "Sure!" with a smile on his face as their hands met, followed by a fist bump. That was probably the coolest thing I’ve seen a president do. It made me feel like he identified with us and was more on our level. He said goodbye to us and walked to his limo parked in the loading bay at the back of the lab. In a few seconds the three of us were all that was left of the mob of important people, Press, and security that had been swarming around. We were all still pretty stoked about what had just happened and we recapped our memories of the event with each other until their class started packing up their things to leave. That was surely a day that none of us will ever forget.