By Bella Roberts
Being in PLTW, in the Makerspace, failure is always glooming beneath the plywood. It seems to be inevitable. Failure constantly lives in ourthoughts and defines our success. It determines the way we learn from our mistakes. Personally, I have failed a lot in my life, and recently that failure has occurred in PLTW class as I have embarked on various missions of success.
Not to long ago I completed a maker project in this class that could be defined by a lot of trial and error i.e. failure. There were times when my group and I felt a strong urge to give up and try something else, but every time we found it in us to realize that failure is not a bad thing. I think in a way it may be one of the best ways to learn; to learn from your mistakes and to learn what doesn’t work. The mission of my group and I’s maker project was to make a model of a maglev train; a train that levitates on a track due to the attachments of magnets and a magnetic field. This project resulted in constant failure, from making the wrong size of the track and train, the wrong placements of the magnets, and the constant struggle of failing to get the train to actually float above the track.
Although these challenges were always present and our project seemed to beckon failure, we were able to get through them and learn that when you fall, getting up is always in reach. This message struck me at an even deeper level when I came across a quote on my tea bag the other day, it said, “Fall seven times, get up eight.” I think this quote speaks truthfully about the resilience and determination that comes along with learning to accept and come back from failure.
I also believe that overtime we start to see failure as a motivation for change. The way we recognize failure in our society, eager to advocate for change, helps us recognize our own personal failure and its many forms. Throughout my project I saw failure as a lot of disappointment and shame. I felt as though because of my failure I was not worthy enough to continue in our plans. I felt that because success is such an honorable title, wished to be worn by many, I might not get there. But, after some time I eventually learned that when you fail, being intimidated by your now distorted view of future success does not make any difference. Just because you fail, unknown to success at that moment, does not mean that it does not exist.
Now, to conclude my message about failure and its many forms of inspiration, I leave you with this quote by Thomas Edison-
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”