How to Predict the Future? Invent It!

Palmer Tetley, an inventor and community volunteer, was recently called upon by North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple to present his anti-flood system to a team of civil engineers working to avert future catastrophes as occurred in Minot, N.D., last June, where thousands fled their homes after some of the worst flooding in 40 years. What’s interesting is that Palmer is a student at Preston Middle School in Fort Collins, Colo. After witnessing the devastation first-hand (his father’s work in the region’s oil fields brings their family there occasionally), Palmer wanted to help. Along with the governor, the mayor of the town of Minot and the engineers will review Palmer’s design to decide whether or not they might construct and use it. Palmer (pictured above with his 2011 Outstanding Volunteer award from ColoradoFIRST), participated in the International Telementor Program last fall. David Neils is now helping him connect with local mentors in Fort Collins where he can continue to work on solid engineering projects.  “Palmer is setting a tremendously good example,” says David, “and there are a lot more of our youth out there that mentors will be challenging and supporting,” he adds. “It’s been said, the best way to predict the future is to invent it. Through our mentoring program, we’re making sure students are connecting their ideas to the real world around them, and letting them hear from professionals who take them seriously. After all, they are our future.”

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