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AIBU?

Child lost school item, school blaming me...?

190 replies

maiafawnly · 13/09/2022 17:12

Before the summer holiday, my 14 year old participated in an event for a competition where a group of student designed balloons which were sent into "space". On the balloons were recording devices logging the altitude the balloon reached and views from their balloon. The data was recorded onto a micro SD card. The data was to be analysed at the start of this term to then be submitted to the hosts of the competition.

The SD card was given to my 14 year old last day of term, and hes lost it. Micro sd cards are so small that finding it is a nigh on impossible task, and we've looked everywhere but cannot find it.

Obviously this is my childs fault, hes misplaced it, but school have called, 3 separate teachers infact have called, asking me what i intend to do about it...? What can i do? I didn't know he was being given the SD card or asked to bare any responsibility of keeping it safe for 7 weeks! And even if i had been asked, theres nothing i can do now its lost, i cant magically recreate data and images of the balloon. And tbh i think the school/teachers involved in the competition have been a bit irresponsible handing a micro sd card of data to a kid if thats the only place its stored and irretrievable if lost.

Aibu to simply ignore any further communication regarding this and have absolutely no consequences for my child at home? I dont think this is a punishable offence, my child made an accidental mistake over misplacing something he should never have been solely responsible for if it was that important?

OP posts:
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imissedabit · 14/09/2022 11:49

It's extremely remiss of the school (not your son), working on an ENGINEERING PROJECT, to not have backed up the data! How fucking ridiculous. The school is embarrassed as I guess the engineering firm that sponsored the project is now thinking, what sort of twits have we just sponsored? By twits, I don't mean your son. I mean the teachers involved. 14 year olds have very little common sense. They just don't. I believe there is a saying 'you can't put an old head on young shoulders'. The cock up wasn't made solely by your son. The cock up was made by the teachers involved.

In terms of the data, you said that he viewed the contents of the disc with his friends. Can they recall much of it? Could their recollection at least provide some useful data? Surely the design file is with the engineering firm who went on to actually manufacture it. It didn't win. They can still use and learn from the data from the other schools involved in the experiment.

I hope the school doesn't hang your son out to dry with the engineering firm. If this is an area that he and his friends want to eventually work in, the school must accept sole responsibility otherwise it could damage their student's prospects in the future with the firm.

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CaptainSamCarter · 14/09/2022 12:03

DH's company runs a competition that is the same (or possibly is the exact same one if you're up in the far north of England) and I'm gutted for your son. The kids always work so hard on this project and it's a great way to introduce them to some engineering and science concepts. Your son must be devastated enough without being hounded by the teachers! I would imagine his own feelings will be ample punishment as it were. Do they at least know how high it got? Hopefully he's got a long career in engineering ahead of him and he will at least have learned the importance of backing up your data Wink

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Zonder · 14/09/2022 13:14

It's not still in his laptop, is it? In the SD port?

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Ponderingwindow · 14/09/2022 13:25

There is basically zero chance of the op being able to organize a redo of the project. These balloons cost close to a £1000 and can be more depending on payload.

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Neddevine · 14/09/2022 13:46

Can you check the temp files folder in the pc hard drive or downloads? If the files were accessed/viewed on the pc they may be recoverable? Worth a try.

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imissedabit · 14/09/2022 13:50

CaptainSamCarter · 14/09/2022 12:03

DH's company runs a competition that is the same (or possibly is the exact same one if you're up in the far north of England) and I'm gutted for your son. The kids always work so hard on this project and it's a great way to introduce them to some engineering and science concepts. Your son must be devastated enough without being hounded by the teachers! I would imagine his own feelings will be ample punishment as it were. Do they at least know how high it got? Hopefully he's got a long career in engineering ahead of him and he will at least have learned the importance of backing up your data Wink

Lovely post.

I have worked with engineers and they're a lovely bunch of nerds lol. I was used as the 'for perspective' dummy alongside a model of something they were launching. It's a fascinating field.

The school needs to take the flak for this, not your son or the other students involved.

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imissedabit · 14/09/2022 13:51

Ponderingwindow · 14/09/2022 13:25

There is basically zero chance of the op being able to organize a redo of the project. These balloons cost close to a £1000 and can be more depending on payload.

Add to that that the engineering company actually brought their ideas to life, so it will have been unique and a one-off spectacular failure by the teachers

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SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius · 14/09/2022 13:56

maiafawnly · 14/09/2022 10:03

@MelodyPondsMum no preview they are just blue icons unfortunately. I can just see that they are the right dates and from /D drive but that drive is no longer on the laptop

Is it worth asking the school whether their IT person could look at the laptop and see if they can retrieve the files, @maiafawnly?

I agree that the school should have made sure the data was properly backed up, rather than just handing over such a tiny, but important item to a 14 year old! And I don’t see how much more you or your son could do.

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SkygardenTower · 14/09/2022 17:55

I’m a teacher and organise a similar (but different) activity. If something like this went missing, ultimately it would be my fault. Firstly as I am the adult in charge and they are children!

Also,I wouldn’t ask a student to look after something so small (and very easy to loose) over the summer. A lot of students lose all sorts of things over the summer a lot bigger than this. I would download the data myself and share it that way, but that card would be mine!!!

I’m sorry you son is upset by this, I’m sure he is as upset as the rest of the team, probably more so. I hope you have given him hug and reassure him that we all mess up at times, it’s shit but it happens.

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imissedabit · 14/09/2022 23:10

I once lost about 4 hours of work as I was used to working with a system which automatically backed up files. You guessed it. This one didn't. It was a costly mistake. It cost me my job. 😆

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maiafawnly · 15/09/2022 17:30

UPDATE

So it turns out a teacher who has now left the school actually had copied some of the data over to his laptop. Not all of it, just the last part of where the balloon got to and it bursting. He'd saved it on the way back to have to show future classes. So whilst they don't have everything, or the SD card, they do have the main stats for the final altitude, a few images of earth from the balloon, and a couple of when it burst they can look at.

My son has had a rough few days but at least the team now has some stuff from the project to look at and keep and submit to the competition. I'm so pleased for them all. According to my son no one thought to ask this other teacher until he spoke to his physics teacher about it, who then emailed him to ask!

Overall my son has learned his lesson, and hopefully the other teachers will think twice before giving such an easily lost item to teenagers in the future.

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SirChenjins · 15/09/2022 19:56

That’s great you’ve got a (sort of) resolution to it and that all is not lost 😊. Lessons to be learned on all fronts - but mainly on the part of the school imo.

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DisappearingGirl · 15/09/2022 21:58

Oh I'm really pleased to hear that!

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mellicauli · 15/09/2022 22:02

Sorry..didn't read the whole thread. Did you check your washing machine filter? He probably never took it out of his pocket.

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Pixiedust1234 · 15/09/2022 23:28

At least they got the best bits of data. Must have been awesome to see it burst !

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