There is nothing quite as inspiring as watching your country’s Olympic team parade into the stadium behind their flag or seeing the amazing feats accomplished by the athletes.
Well, now with a partnership between Classroom Champions and Google Glass, some students will be able to see what it is like to compete like an athlete.
Started by Olympic bobsled gold-medalist Steve Mesler and Leigh Mesler Parise in 2009, Classroom Champions brings together athletes and students in kindergarten through eighth great at high-needs schools. During its inaugural academic year of 2011-2012, the group had five Olympians and two Paralympians working with 28 classrooms. As of the 2012-2013 school year, that number had increased to 35 classrooms and a pilot classroom in Costa Rica.
Working as mentors, each athlete adopts three to 10 classrooms per year and sends video lessons or participates in live video chats with the classroom a few times each month. Although the videos correspond with everyday school lessons – letter writing, reading, geography, math and technology – they add a new dimension to the everyday, mundane classroom activities. These athlete-mentors don’t teach from a textbook, but through their own personal experiences. They document their journeys, emphasizing how hard-work, training, goal setting, leadership, competition and, most of all, perseverance are the keys to success.
The goal? To inspire these children to dream and strive to achieve the impossible.
And now, thanks to Google, Classroom Champions is pushing it to the next level by giving their students the chance to see the world through the eyes of a blind Paralympian jumper Lex Gillette.
This year, Google launched its Giving Through Glass competition, which awards five winners with a pair of Google Glass, a $25,000 grant, Google Glass developers and a visit to the Google headquarters.
Classroom Champions is one of those recipients. Their plan is to have Paralympians wear Google Glass so that students can understand what it is like to live and compete with a disability. More importantly, however, it is showing how their determination and abilities, not their disabilities, defines these athletes.
For Gillette, the opportunity to share his experience is once in a lifetime.
“There’s a lot of things that go on with that, having someone basically directing me down this runway, and I’m running fast, he’s making calls on the fly,” Gillette told Fast Co. Exist. “I think it would definitely be cool [for kids to] see how all of that happens, see what that would look like in a visual sense.”
While most will never compete at this level like Gillette, Classroom Champions and Google Glass is helping these students to visualize their own track to success.