by Saphina Sid
HEARTS POUND VIOLENTLY, almost audibly. The Campbell Middle School Zero Robotics students hold their breath, eyes focused on the classroom screen. The result of their summer-long SPHERES project will be revealed in only a few seconds. As the round between them and another team finishes up, it is replaced on the screen by both the teams’ scores. The students read the numbers expectantly…then let out sighs of disappointment. They have lost. As silence fills the room, they all look at each other and cannot help thinking how far they have come–who they have become–what they have learned. I learned a lot from this documentary on their story, too. Zero Gravity taught me about the joy of learning, the importance of teamwork, and the power of our dreams.
First of all, Zero Gravity emphasized how wonderful learning can be. At the summer program, the teacher, Tanner, created a likable environment for the kids and helped them learn about coding. He truly wanted to make the lessons engaging and help students have fun, and the students clearly expressed how much they enjoyed the program. I saw a large progression of their coding knowledge from the beginning to the end of the film, clearly showing how much they learned! For me, I am a homeschooler and have always had a good learning experience; nevertheless, school can sometimes become slightly monotonous. The documentary showed me that if I have the mindset of being eager to learn, school can be extra fun! Zero Gravity reminded me of the wonder of learning.
Zero Gravity was also a great example of teamwork. The film focused on three kids: Advik, Carol, and Makayla. They were all very different but were able to use their various strengths to complement one another, work together well, and accomplish what none of them could have done alone. The importance of teamwork can be applied to various aspects of our lives. Personally, I tend to want to do certain things on my own, such as art projects, thinking it would be better if I did them myself. But last year, some of my friends from church and I made a group painting as a gift for one of our leaders who was moving away. It looked colorful, showed the joy of the painters who made it, and was something I certainly could not have done alone. This is an example of teamwork like Advik, Carol, and Makayla demonstrated. Zero Gravity showed the value of working together.
Lastly, Zero Gravity proved how working towards our dreams gets us closer to achieving them. Advik, Carol, Makayla, and the other students on their team were all middle schoolers–regular kids. They were able to participate in a competition to try to have their coding be the best and used on the ISS. The kids worked hard at the incredible task, receiving 4th place in California but not stopping there. They cheered on the top California team and, after the finals were over, kept sight of their dreams. As Advik said, “If you reach your final destination, it is not the end. You can keep on going.” The kids, older now, continue to get closer to achieving their dreams, though what those are has changed for some of them. This reminded me to work at my own personal hopes for the future, which include being a writer. Zero Gravity illustrated why we should work towards our dreams.
Zero Gravity was a wonderful documentary about a group of middle schoolers who loved learning, demonstrated teamwork, and worked at their dreams. I want to use what lessons I have learned from them in my life. I am very glad I was able to watch Zero Gravity, an amazing film about some truly amazing kids.