Well, what if we had our cake and ate it too? Why not keep the military spending and military jobs, but employ the armed forces to improve our schools? Think about it, military technology would revolutionize innovation in our schools, resulting in students who are amped to go to school and who are prepared to tackle the military challenges of the 21st century. It’s a win-win-win.
So, just in case some folks at the Pentagon, in the White House, and on the Budget and Appropriations committee thinks it’s a great idea (and why wouldn’t they?), I’ve come up with some suggestions to get them started.
1. Drone Playground Patrol Fleet
The Problem: Little Sammy likes to play with the girls rather than other little dudes. Those other little boys pick on him, call him names, and even push him around a bit. Little Sammy is being bullied for being different, and it is affecting his learning.
The Solution: Armed Drones. They fly overhead to monitor playground activities at schools during free time. Bullies are targeted, tracked, and taken out. Care packages are then dropped beside kids who’ve been bullied.
One Benefit: When the Drones break down or need maintenance, students in shop can work out the kinks and learn valuable engineering skills. That’s a job ready and bully-free school!
2. Helicopter Student-Transport System
The Problem: Busses.They’re uncomfortable. Loud. And they frustrate the drivers stuck behind them.
The Solution: Black Hawk Student Transport System. Staying out of the flow of traffic, these beauties drop down on roof-top helipads to pick up students, strap them in, and threaten to drop them out if they misbehave. Plus, the noise of the rotors will drown out the noisemakers.
One Benefit: No student wants to miss a helicopter flight, right? Attendance rates will take off (pun intended).
3. Nuclear Sub Portables
The Problem: We can’t build schools fast enough or big enough for the constant stream of ever increasing students. So, we quickly pockmark campuses with portables (aka Mobile Home Classrooms) as a bandaid.
The Solution: Nuclear Submarines! Take some of these nuclear bad boys and voila — super awesome portables. Gone will be the days in which teachers complain about being put in a portable.
“What?! I’m assigned the USS Virginia?! Hell, YES!”
- Super high tech computer station (your students can monitor the Drone Playground Patrol fleet — that’s real world job training!)
- Self contained energy source (you can probably provide energy to the school!)
- Two words: The Brig
- Three more words: For misbehaving students
- Your office is the Captain’s quarters. “Earl Grey. Hot.”
- The radar system can be rigged to warn of any approaching “test-it-if-it-moves” advocates.
4. MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat, aka Meals Rejected by Everyone)
The Problem: Cafeteria food is generally regarded as an abomination in the world of culinary arts. No one likes it, and only kids who are forced to eat it actually eat it. Everyone else? Junk food. Either from venders (which someone thought would be a good idea to have in schools) or from off campus sources.
The Military Solution: MRE’s. Not only has Uncle Sam calculated the precise amount of food a person needs, he’s packaged so that it can travel and last. Students will get so tired of the same old food day after day after day they’ll beg for the mess of the mess hall.
One benefit: These things go anywhere, so if you want students to have more classes during the day, you can make lunch a learning lunch. They choke down their MRE’s at their desks while working out some quadratic equations. Now the cafeteria can be converted to an ice skating rink.
5. Night Vision Goggles
The Problem: Not enough hours in the day. You’ve got unfinished (and unstarted) projects. And if you could just eek out a few more weeks worth of time with the students you’re sure they would have some transformational learning experiences that would lead them to score well on the state test. However, the district insists that all lights get shut down at night to preserve energy.
The Military Solution: Standard issue night vision goggles! Problem solved. At dusk, hand them out, students strap them on, feed the kids their dinnertime MRE’s and carry on with your work. Viola. Work ‘em till they fall asleep drooling on their worksheet.
One Benefit: A nighttime game of hide and seek is sure to thrill even the most reluctant athletes.
6. Tanks for Teens
The Problem: Teenagers aren’t properly prepared for multitasking while driving. Let’s face it, today’s teenagers have it so much tougher than we did growing up. Sure, we had to deal with a clutch, gears and stalling out while cueing a cassette tape to the start of a favorite tune. But that’s nothing compared with the multi-tasking today’s young drivers need to pull off. Texting, drinking mocha lattes, surfing satellite radio, taking self portraits to post on Facebook of them driving (“Look at me, behind the wheel!”), and talking on phones that don’t easily nest between the shoulder and ear.
The Military Solution: Employ tanks for school’s driver’s ed programs. Today’s tanks are incredibly complex and students will need to learn and manage a range of super complex systems all at once to keep the thing moving, much less maneuver it. The multi-tasking skills necessary to handle a tank will easily transfer to a car. Students will find driving an automatic comparatively simple and will thusly have tons of spare brain to distract in whatever way they see fit. Teens trained with tanks will be less unsuccessful when doing things they shouldn’t do compared to students trained in traditional ways. They’re going to do those things anyway. So why not set them up for success?
One Benefit: When students accidentally plow into a tree, no problem. These things are practically indestructible.
7. Battleship High
The Problem: Climate change. Ocean levels rising. Coastal communities may be submerged. Students will still need to go to school, but if their school grounds are 6 feet under, what’s a young scholar to do?
The Military Solution: Battleships and Aircraft carriers. Huge and able to accommodate countless students, these floating cities offer an ideal place to educate today’s youth. Not only can we cram hundreds upon hundreds of students onto each one, soccer coaches across the nation will love the quality of ball control their athletes will develop while trying to keep from accidentally kicking the ball into the ocean.
One Benefit: Can you think of a better setting for a John Hughes movie? I didn’t think so. Me either.
- Bill Murray: Stripes
- Drone: Drone War UK
- Black Hawk: Kool Wallpaper
- Submarine: Visual Intel
- MRE: Cal Army
- Goggles: Night Vision Goggles
- Tank: Defense Industry Daily
- Aircraft Carrier: Military Desktop