Shirley Freeman's Reviews > The New Cool: A Visionary Teacher, His FIRST Robotics Team, and the Ultimate Battle of Smarts

The New Cool by Neal Bascomb
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's review
Jul 28, 2011

This was great!! Author Neal Bascombe follows high school science and engineering teacher Amir Abo-Shaeer as he promotes his high school's engineering academy, guides 31 seniors through a Robotics competition season and sets out to transform American education. The reader gets to watch as a disparate group of kids (third to half girls) transforms into a well-functioning team. The build season begins when the new game is unveiled at the same moment all over the country. The team is challenged to build a robot able to play a complex, highly competitive game six weeks from day 1. Along the way the kids learn an incredible amount of math, physics, engineering and teamwork. Throughout the story, the reader gets to know the people involved (late nights, frustrations, moments of hilarity and joy), the history of the FIRST robotics league, and most important, gets a taste of what education in America could and should be. Who would have thought a book about a robotics competition would make you laugh and cry? I did both. If you're interested in sports, or math/science/engineering or in an inspirational story about bettering up our education system, I strongly recommend this book.

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