A couple of weeks ago, CPEP (CT Pre-Engineering Program) held it's annual competition day. CPEP is a pre-engineering program, held after school, that has students working on projects throughout the year and then they compete at the end of the year against the other schools. Projects include Roller Coasters, Maglev vehicles, boats, and more. Students design, build, and then modify their projects throughout the year. This is my third year doing it and every year we have won a few categories. This year we swept the Chess tournament and took 2nd in the Maglev vehicle. CPEP is a great program that teaches students teamwork, problem solving, and applications of math and science.
At CPEP day, we had a keynote speaker at the opening ceremony. It was Naveen Selvadurai, one of the founders of Foursquare (He is from Connecticut). In his keynote speech, he talked about his life, how he came to work on Foursqaure and gave some advice to the students on his tips to success. He had stated that he started Foursquare because he felt that the phone in his pocket could do more based on locations and where you were and what was near you.
Here are his 5 points (with my notes):
Be Curious - look at things and wonder why. Wonder if something can do more. Wonder if you can make something better or different. Ask why? Ask how?
Keep Learning - never stop learning. Be a life-long learner. Learn because you are curious. Learn because you want to better yourself.
Don't Be Afraid to Fail - no one succeeds on the first try. For every great success, there are hundreds of failures. You learn from your failures and they help you succeed. We should encourage students this way in school also.
Be Passionate - be passionate and excited about what you do, no matter what. Why do it if you aren't passionate or don't care. This goes for everything you do, from cleaning your room to doing your work.
Keep Good Company - be around people who share your values and beliefs. Be with people who are passionate, curious, and keep learning. Surround yourself with people who will help you succeed, not lead you to failure or troubles.
These are great tips and advice and we should share them with our students and colleagues.