Yesterday evening they invited me to a yummy dinner and presentation for their Pre-Engineering class where they demonstrated (before a panel of engineers from companies that sponsor the technical school) what they are currently learning. My sons are really going above and beyond the scope of what the teacher has taught them, and the advisory members left completely impressed with their efforts.
This is the robot that my older son has been building from spare parts that the teacher has provided. It is controlled remotely by his laptop computer, and has a camera on the front so that he can see where it is going without being right next to it. Not only were the board members impressed by the principals that he has applied to this project, but that he could explain them so succinctly to a group of strange adults. I could tell that he was nervous, but he rose to the occasion. It helps when you not only know what you are talking about, but you are passionate about it!
They all agreed that although they are advanced in their respective fields, much of what he was talking about was 'over their heads' - he is well on his way to his goal being a Robotics Engineer. My younger son presented a replica air hockey table that he has been machining in class, and also demonstrated a video game that has has been writing in his spare time. They couldn't believe the level of skill in computer programming that he was displaying. It is very nice to be their mother.