Looking at the pictures of the Curiosity rover landing on the surface of Mars is astonishing. It is one of the most amazing examples in the world today where innovation, collaboration, and creativity have come together for the good of the world. It’s a very big thing! We are in outer space again, exploring an uncharted planet that may some day support human life.
The vision is simple and the task of accomplishing it enormous: Curiosity is seeking to explore signs of past life by looking for evidence of microorganisms that lived on Mars. The implications for humankind are hopeful, and the lessons to our children about what is possible to achieve incalculable.
The science of the Curiosity mission required the creation of an interdisciplinary team that includes geochemists, biologists, engineers, physicists, and many more fields working together. These highly trained and talented people have special skills that were forged when they where kids through exploration, curiosity, encouragement, and discovery.
Big dreams and ideas require talent, relentless hard work, unprecedented teamwork, and trust to succeed. This video shows the moments when Curiosity lands on the surface of Mars. It’s robotic astronaut shares the events, and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory celebrates this accomplishment. It is a perfect moment in which so many things come together, and we can see for brief time the collective efforts of so many as one gigantic success.
The lessons of the Curiosity rover are many for our children: Dream big. We can solve big problems working together. Do what you love. Never give up. Work hard. Success always comes with setbacks. Try, try again. Understanding and learning these lessons, by example and experience, will make a difference in their lives for years to come.
Talking to our kids about what it takes to accomplish anything meaningful in life helps them to understand processes, systems, organization, and planning. It gives them a new perspective on the world and themselves. There are examples of great problem solving everywhere.
In Curiosityville, our character-friends work together to do the big and little things in life. They model collaboration and communications every day—skills that are needed for the future health of the world. Jack, our policeman, wants to be an astronaut and is in training. That’s a big dream and goal. Dreaming big is good. Harnessing everything in each of us to reach our goals is noble and life affirming.
When I was a kid, NASA had just landed on the moon. In elementary school, we learned a song about the moon landing. I still remember the lines: One small step for a man. One giant leap for mankind. There isn’t a thing that we cannot do. But we must reach out to our neighbors. For the world is the stage and the stage is set. For triumph, peace, and goodwill. So stand proud and tall when you hear the call for brotherhood and love throughout the world. I remember how proud I felt to be part of something so incredible. Pride of country and pride of a huge accomplishment are important fuels for us all.
The Curiosity rover is history in the making. Our children are the future under construction.