Hoverboards and Star Wars

When I asked most of my sixth grade students what gift that they were wanting this year, they quickly replied, “a hoverboard,” and then went on to explain about how awesome it was and it only cost $500. I was actually quite excited to think that my Back to the Future II dreams finally came true. Upon further research, I found this…


As you can see, these students did not know what an actual hoverboard actually is. They have started actually designing one as seen in the video below.

Even so, I remember a few of my students mentioning that some were having issues with the battery getting hot and that they seemed dangerous, other than the fact that it even made heavyweight Mike Tyson fall down.

Even Russell Crowe got in on the action, when he was deeply offended that his children could not bring their hoverboards on the airplane, because of issues with the lithium batteries catching on fire.

It is crazy to think how one toy can take over the thoughts and minds of the children of each generation. As I look back, I am sure that I fell into this fad every year, yet I only remember a few game changers for me.

  1. Star Wars action figures from Kenner – This might have been the coolest gift that I ever received, it came with a case to store each of all the characters that there were. I think I actually had every slot filled at one point.
  2. Game Boy – The original Game Boy from Nintendo, I remember playing Tetris, Baseball, and Paperboy much more than I would like to admit.
  3. Tandy TRS-80 Computer – This was the best gift in preparing for me for my future. I coded in BASIC for more hours, enough to skip a year in computing during high school.

What shocks me out of this list was that most of what I remember took cognitive abilities to enjoy. They took imagination, hard work, or effort. Not so with the hoverboard, it is mainly to save students or some adults from walking.

I know I crossed the threshold of being a forty year old person this year, but seriously, what gives? I feel for the people who have spent over $500 on an item that was clearly not tested enough. The demand came in so quick that many safety tests were not completed. In fact, some news outlets are saying, “Hoverboards Ruined Christmas!”

Might I suggest a few new items to ask for next year?

  1. Star Wars Action Figures – Make movies with your phone and play out some scenes from a new Star Wars.tumblr_inline_nu40yezhXW1ttbgov_500
  2. Nintendo Wii U – Play with friends and work on creating your own levels in Super Mario Maker. It is great to design and test, it builds your mind. Also, see Excitebike: World Rally.
  3. Google Chromebook – To help students get ready for the onslaught of more and more internet based activities in school and the world. I like for students to use hourofcode.com to further their experience in coding in a fun way!chromebooks-apps-flyoutDisclaimer – I currently receive no monies from any of these companies (especially Tandy), but if any of them would like to pay me, I will accept any token. They are just a few items that I think are helpful to building strong minds in our future generations. 

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