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Five, Four, Three, Two, One, Go!

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By Lucas Pakele, Global Ambassador, AYLP.

They scurried in the door. One by one, two by two, and all the rest of the future leaders of Algeria and Nevada poured into the Reynolds School, already having a blast getting to know each other. Today was the first day of this week’s activities, learning how to be a better leader and the difficulties of working in large groups to accomplish a common goal. 
The students divvied up into their groups and were tasked with working together to build the Team Machine. In true Algerian fashion, the students immediately began demanding for instructions.

The purple group was in charge of building the part of the machine that engaged a set of lights and right in the beginning they discovered that their switch wasn’t working. They were frustrated, but determined. Who needs it to work the way it was supposed to? Instead they rebuilt the switch! Not only that, but their battery melted and again they cut and stripped wires, – rigging the device to operate again…and it worked!! At the main table there was a huge struggle to work with so many students so close to each other, banging elbows and knocking the table accidentally. The Algerian’s culture has a small personal bubble and they didn’t mind working close together. Eventually, it was time to run the machine all at once. Five…four…three…two…one…it’s—oh no! The student’s design wasn’t good enough yet and the machine didn’t work, and twenty students rushed the table all at once. They weren’t satisfied with the results.  “This task was a struggle they were going to overcome,” the counselor exclaimed. The students backed away slowly.  They were careful to not knock over the pieces of the machine.

Todd, the social media instructor, began counting again. Five…four…three…two…one…you heard the sound of dominos falling, marbles flying, doorbells ringing, lights flashing, a cord pulling, a dart dropping…BOOM! They erupted at the sight of their success! Forty-some hands charged towards the sky, and the students cheered while hugging each other — happy with their powerful accomplishment.
 The students told stories of their struggles and success to each other. In the end, for them, it came down to working together and staying determined through the difficulty. It was a blessing to see the innovative minds these kids have. The talents they uncovered today will stay with them for the rest of their lives, and the friendships they’ve built will follow them home to Algeria, to other towns in Nevada, and wherever else their adventure takes them.

Watch the Team Machine at http://youtu.be/nyRwJYhOpAQ

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