What I Learned from a Lego Car with a Pink Feather
Earlier this summer, my nine-year-old granddaughter attended a weeklong Science Camp. The kids did lots of experiments, but the highlight was the opportunity to design and make a battery-powered car. Each student received a little motor, a battery, and a room full of materials to choose from. For Lacey, making the car pretty was a “priority,” so she accented the Lego base with a pink, fluffy feather.
Students also tested two methods for propelling the cars and then chose which one to use: a pulley system or a mini-fan hooked up to the battery. Since the boys wanted their cars to go as fast as possible, most of them chose the pulley. But the speed came at a price; these cars tended to frequently lose control.
The week ended with a race. Although Lacey’s car was fast, she didn’t really think it could win against the pulley-operated “speed demons.” As soon as the teacher yelled, “Plug in your motors! Ready, set, go!”, the pulley cars darted off with the fastest start. But then they began curving off course, turning around, going in circles, or bumping other cars.
As students ran over to set their cars back on course, Lacey watched hers head down the track, straight and steady. Soon she started jumping up and down, shouting, “Go, go, go!” She was ecstatic to see her car with the pink feather win first place.
The race reminded us of the tortoise and the hare fable. I also thought it would provide good illustrations about the foundation we choose to build our life on or the life choices we make. When I asked Lacey what life lesson she learned from the race, she answered, “Next time I shouldn’t doubt myself so much.” Enough said.
Dianne Neal Matthews is a freelance writer and the author of four daily devotional books including The One Year Women of the Bible and Designed for Devotion, which won a 2013 Selah Award. She also writes for websites and blogs, contributes to compilations (including Guideposts’ Mornings with Jesus), and teaches at writers’ conferences. To learn more, visit www.DianneNealMatthews.com or connect with Dianne through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.