A Look into Winter Haven, Florida in 2063
By Rosemary Reynolds, Grade 9

My name is Rosemary, and I am fifteen years old. I have lived in Winter Haven, Florida all of my life. In that short amount of time, we have seen many different changes in our homes, businesses, cities, transportation, and technology. It can only grow, and does so every day! With this knowledge, I would like to paint a picture of this same town fifty-two years from now, in 2063.

The first impression of Winter Haven as you drive (or fly) through the city limits is that it is a very large and developed town, with the typical skyscrapers and lights of the 2060’s. There is always something to look at! The buildings are enormous, especially the Winter Haven Tower. It’s the tallest part of the city, even reaching above the bullet train tracks. There are also a lot of people here, many hundreds of thousands, possibly even a million throughout the entire city. Everything about this town is big, except the transportation systems, of course.

All of the houses in Winter Haven are in large groups together, forming buildings of their own. The homes are called “pods”, and each family is allowed one. They aren’t small at all, and have many different rooms. The technology has grown tremendously, and there are even robotic pets in some of the pods! Everyone has at least a living room, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, entertainment room, and deck. The deck’s view changes along with the location of the pod. It can sometimes be a lake view, if you’re very lucky. Most of the pods have city views. The bedrooms and bathrooms include the latest favorite in the city, EggBeds and EggBaths. They’re very efficient, and include the best lighting systems. All of the kitchens in the pods have large countertops, and plenty of automatic appliances. By automatic, I mean there is a computer that controls almost every component during the cooking process. It’s almost, but not quite, capable of the human mind.

Speaking of technology, there is a lot of it. We’ve advanced so much since 2011. Things that only existed in science fiction a few years ago, like holographic touchscreens, are now common. All of the residents of Winter Haven have some sort of system in their entertainment room, and it’s usually just a simple 360°-view 3D movie screen. However, some people have portable television systems, such as the movie glasses. They’ve existed for a while, but have advanced to looking more like the old sunglasses. Fashion has changed a lot too! Almost all of our predictions for future-looking clothing have proved true. Long dresses are almost history, and short dresses are all the rage. There are a lot of vibrant colors also, to match the colorful city!

People in Winter Haven can buy clothes like these, and anything else, online. There aren’t any stores now, just large manufacturing plants. Every item purchased online is delivered to the customer’s pod. There aren’t such things as cash, coins, or credit cards either. Every citizen has a chip implanted in their thumb, which is easily pressed against a touchscreen. When their thumb is swiped, their personal bank account information is displayed, and the charge is made automatically. There certainly aren’t any more wallets!

The medical care here in Winter Haven is excellent. There aren’t any doctor’s offices, and there is only one hospital. However, don’t let that fool you. All of the doctors in Winter Haven can pay home visits, and perform procedures that would have normally been done in a doctor’s office or hospital in 2011. Doctors can do regular check-ups at home, or use nanochip scanners to target exactly what is causing your pain or discomfort and treat it.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my tour of the future Winter Haven! It certainly is very different, but mostly in good ways. I predict that the population will grow, we will become more developed, and technology will increase along with the city itself. Who knows what we really have in store for us! As Charles F. Kettering expresses, “My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there.”
The Four “R’s” of Learning: Reading, ‘Riting, ‘Rithmetic, and Recess
By Rebekah Doucette, Grade 12

Exercise is an important part of life, for both adults and children.  Many adults make time in their busy workdays to go to the gym, or even do simple things, such as: powerwalk through the neighborhood with their spouses, go for a jog with the dog, or pull out an exercise DVD and do dance moves, yoga, and cardio exercises right in their living rooms.

Often one will hear the classic words of “The earlier a person starts, the easier it is when he or she grows up.”  This is true.  If a child learns to play the piano at a young age, it is easier for him when he is older.  If a child is taught that exercise is good and is encouraged to exercise often, the easier it will be for the child to exercise when he or she is older. Unfortunately, recess in some schools has been completely cut out.

According to some recent studies, about 42% of the schoolchildren in the United States get their exercise during recess.  If exercise is so important, why are schools cutting recess out - especially since children have a hard time focusing without breaks?  The answer is easy.  With all the things teachers are required to teach their students, there is no time for recess.

Recess is important for children.  Denene Miller wrote the article “Why Kids Need Recess and Exercise” and stated,

“A recent multicenter study of more than 11,000 eight- and nine-year-olds, led by pediatric researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in New York, showed that kids who had at least 15 minutes of recess a day (even just 15 minutes!) behaved better in class.

According to study author and developmental pediatrician Romina Barros, M.D., their conduct was likely better because, after hours of concentration, they were able to give their exhausted brains a rest before going back to absorbing information -- something many young kids can only do well for about a half hour at a time.”

What teacher doesn’t want well-behaved children in his or her classroom?  So why can’t our students have at least a fifteen-minute break every other hour or so?

This doesn’t just apply to students in real classrooms.  Virtual school students are not getting enough exercise, either; and not only that, but they are stuck staring at a computer screen long hours during thel day, which is much worse on the eyes than paper.  What parents need to do is encourage their virtual students to take breaks every once in a while and run outside – and not just encourage them, but make sure it happens.  Running around outside, doing a few jumping jacks, swinging on a swing, biking around the block or even taking a quick walk will leave students feeling refreshed and so much less stressed.

Recess is important for children’s mental and physical health.  Somehow, someway our school boards need to make a way to put recess back into the school day.  Hopefully, in the future we will see less obese children (Miller’s article stated that “17% of kids between 2 and 19 are obese”) and more recess in the schools.

6/7/2011 12:39:10 am

Whoa, Rosemary, are those things people are actually planning? Or is that just your thoughts on what will happen?


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