I remember as a child participating in different activities like science fairs, ethics bowls, mock trails, all these activities that adults graded and judge us on. There were so many times that I wished that the roles could be reversed. Instead of them judging us, we will judge them and their projects. How wonderful what that be?
Apparently, I am not only in thinking this. Just look at television like Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader. A show where adults attempt to answer questions that fifth grade students must know for their curriculum. A hilarious show proves just how little adults know. It always give me a tickle whenever I watched it.
Another opportunity for young people to judge and questions adults is the annual science completion called Flame Challenge. It is comprised of thousands of fifth and sixth grade students, from around the world, are ask to submits questions for the adults to answer. The adults are comprised of scientists in all levels of their fields. The answers are reviewed and judged by a panel of fifth and sixth grade students.
There are a variety of questions ask such as what is a color, define and explain sleep, what is time and how is it measured. Difficult questions that would be difficult for anyone to answer.
What is neat about this competition is the young people do not necessary judge the accuracy of the answer but who explains and engages the students the best. If the adults want to receive a high score their delivery must be entertaining, interesting, and easy to comprehend, a little humor does not hurt.
The students and the scientist all are happy to participate in the competition. In fact, each years those wanting to participate on both sides grows more and more.
To me this this is amazing. I would have loved to participate in any of these activities. A way to switch the rolls around. Enjoy being on the other side of that table. I cannot remember the number of times by friends and me wishing we could judge our teachers. That they can experience the hardship, blood, sweat and tears.
However, alas we never had such a thing as children. As a mild over achiever I participated in at least three to five academic competitions every school year. Each year I would stress over topics, research, and complied information. After all that work I present my project or argument just to have a group of adults tear it apart then analyze and critique each aspect of it. It is a wonder why I never develop a complex.
I cannot even imagine how I would have fare if I had the opportunity to question and judge adults. To have them in the proverbial hot seat as it may. How much I could have learned.
Oh well, now that I am an adult I am unable to participate at least as part of a panel. I do plan on encouraging and supporting my nieces and nephews in becoming a part of the Flame Challenge. They are all really smart I think each one will would flourish in such an environment. They are always asking me these impossible questions maybe now they can ask someone else and give me a break.