Sure, the last decade didn't get such a great rap; recessions, wars, and massive unemployment tend to do that. The question remains, though: What can we expect in the next 10 years? Instead of asking the usual experts, we wanted the dirt from those with the best imaginations - young people (that's anyone born after 1985). We recently e-mailed queries to parents and teachers asking what their charges predicted. Some forecasts were quite gloomy. But at least we'll finally have money trees.
I think there will be a robot who will be able to clean my room, brush my teeth, tuck me in at night, read me stories, and find a soft place for me to sit.
Sarah Carr, 4
By 2020 I think there's going to be a black woman being president, it's going to be sunny and hot year round, and there's going to be free cable on everyone's TV.
Iyanna Lee, 13
People will be friendlier because they can talk to each other on more than one phone.
Morgen Zighelboim, 5
I think all of the animals will be dead in 10 years because America is polluting too much. People who aren't married won't have dogs, cats, fish, or any other type of house animal.
Lexi Schommer, 8
I think in 10 years there will be a device that makes monkeys talk to you in English. It will be the next big hit in the U.S.
Justin Nachman, 8
We will live in a world of pure luxury with computers that are programmed by a human's thoughts. We will have no racism, no crime, no need for anyone to take people to court, no need for divorce. There would be no end to happiness. The poor would be welcomed into newly built houses without hesitation. Rich people would donate to every charity known. We would find a cure for every disease.
Summer Lynch, 11
In 10 years you will see monkeys wearing dresses and being maids.
Jamila Rumph, 9
I think that there will be cars that run on trash instead of oil. I think that in 10 years there will be phones that can tell you where your friends are at that time if their phone is on.
Jorah Smith, 12
Robots will take over the world. They will have lasers.
Jacob Eiseman, 9
In the future we will almost have world peace, even though not the whole way. We would have a creation to help us to communicate with animals. We will have a trombone case that has wheels, so I don't have to carry it all the time.
Jonny Ford, 12
I think the economy will be great and there will be less people in need of money and things. More people may be healthy because scientists may come out with cures for many diseases. Chefs may create new recipes, such as new flavors of pie. Restaurants may get more customers than before. Sadly there may be a war that takes place these years. But, I hope that doesn't happen.
Marly Rubin, 8
I believe they will sell "Bread In A Box" after they realize little children always lose the little plastic wire thing that's suppose to keep the bread fresh. Politics will become less of a concern, and more people will start to focus on "Laid Off Jobs."
Kristen Le, 12
In a decade I think that the time machine will be invented. Maybe somebody will make a new ice cream flavor and the government will find a way to stop pollution. They will also make a machine to control the seasons. After, there would be a candy that makes you shrink. Astronauts would land on Mars and explorers would find new types of fish. They would also discover a new Arctic animal and a new island.
Guille Ribeiro-Vecino, 8
I think over the next decade there will be drastic change in fashion like the 1970s. There will probably be a female president of the U.S.A. The scientists will reverse global warming.
Sarah Schubert, 11
Everybody will have a jet pack.
Dylan Marcus, 7
I think that in the next decade, scientists will start to make prosthetic lungs and other organs. I also think Apple will make at least five more products, a genius will be born, NASA will make plans for a habitable colony on the moon, the Hubble Space Telescope will find a new galaxy, and more efficient light bulbs will be made. Finally, I think heat lasers will be used in warfare.
Etienne Kambara, 10
In the next decade I expect there to be no real changes in our American lifestyle, except for higher speed of communications and maybe longer battery life and better reception. However, these technologies and improvements only serve to streamline our gas-guzzling, high-speed, Internet-connected lives. I do think that hybrid and electric cars will be improved, and that solar and wind energies will become more popular.
Rafi Glantz, 16
I think presidents will only have one year and one year only to live in the White House with fame. So yearly people get a chance to vote. I don't think there will be a flying car, which is just unreasonable.
Ori Dulitzki, 9
I think that 10 years from now, songs will be a lot shorter - maybe like a couple paragraphs long because 10 years before now, the songs were a lot longer than they are today. I also think that 10 years from now, the environment will be cleaner. A lot of people now are making a difference in our environment, so I think all the hard work will be paid off.
Elise Neves, 11
We'll have time travel.
Cole Messinger, 7
In one decade, global warming should be stopped. The Earth will go back to its regular temperature, so cold places will be cold and people living around the equator won't get overheated. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will either stop or get better, meaning close to gone. The troops will come back to the U.S.A. Someone will have invented stuff like a machine that paints a perfect portrait of whoever is standing in front of it.
Molly Cutler, 8
I think there will be at least one girl president! . . . There also will be too few trees, and there will be a lot of extinctions. All animals will be like tigers and bears and lions. But a few birds and little animals will be mostly gone.
Robyn Lane, 11
I think in 2020 there's going to be a woman president, TVs will have touch screens, and I think I'll be a famous/rich artist.
Sarah Khatab, 13
With the current economic downfall throughout America, I don't think the world will be a very happy place. With all the fuels burning in the air and deteriorating the ozone layer, the seasons may come a lot later or much earlier than they are supposed to. Some of the countries or states that are close to or surrounded by water will become completely engulfed with the melting ice caps. Many important species will be extinct. The price of most everyday household products may rise to very high costs and the people won't be being paid to accommodate that.
Claudia Salvato, 12
In the next decade I think that all the shops will have all kinds of new movies that little children would like. The place where you get gas for your car, you might have to pay $17 a gallon. Also in the next decade, the whole world might be so crowded that you will have to struggle out of buildings. It will be crowded because all kinds of new babies will grow. The meteorologists might discover all kinds of new weather.
Annie Liang, 7
There may not be any blue sky.
Annie Lindner, 11
In a decade, I think cars will run on air and it will save money. Also I think there will be no more war. There will be 50 more states in the world. There will be 10 more holidays.
Eric Huang, 7
By the year 2020, I think there will be a lady president, and school will be at home and at 8:30 a.m. the TV will automatically go on the education network.
Yousry Khatab, 12
I, Lake Johnson, think the world will experience a huge change that will create a new robot that will do common household chores such as take out the trash, do the dishes, or just babysit while you go enjoy yourself.
Lake Johnson, 11
You'll be able to talk to your computer without having to write things down. You could say you wanted to go on eBay and get something, and the computer would know how much you should bid so you'd win. Maybe the letters on the computer would be in different places.
Hope Falon-Mazer, 7
Many peoples' estimate for the next decade is that the world will come to an end; I highly disagree. I predict that the environment will only get worse - sky grayer, less snow, less life. There is a little chance that an amazingly smart scientist could appear and think of many different ways we could do things without hurting the environment. Who knows, the world really could end soon. The next 10 years will also be about first timers: the first time there will be a female president and the first time they find Amelia Earhart's plane.
Amanda Steinberg, 10
I think there will be submarine houses under water.
Allhyneese Morris-Pattons, 13
I think Tony Kanaan will win the Indy 500 sooner or later in the next decade. Jimmy Johnson will also win 5 straight Sprint Cup championships. . . . The economy will get better and the health insurance problem will be fixed. I don't think flying cars will be invented ever, much less in the next decade, because it would be too dangerous and expensive.
By 2020 I think there will be screens on every desk in school, and trains that run under water (not in tunnels).
Shiheem Tony, 13
I believe scientists will create a plastic tree. Not a tree made out of plastic but a tree that produces plastic naturally! This way, there will not be as much waste because it will be easy for the ground to break down the plastic. Also, cameras will be much slimmer than before. In architecture, I believe that many houses are going to be built underground for safety reasons.
Christopher Sosnowski, 11
In 2020 I think there will be recess on top of the roofs, polar bears will be extinct, and every movie will be 3-D.
Laquan Solomon, 13
I think in the next decade the world will have too much technology and everyone will be attached to it. They won't go outside and play with their friends.
Richard Haslam, 9
I predict that old things invented around three decades ago will be put in museums: record players and old-fashioned telephones that you stick your finger in the number and wind to dial. We will be able to control planes (real ones) by remote control. Someone will invent a three-course meal gum that will prevent sicknesses and provide enough nutrition so humans don't have to eat anything else. Cancer will be cured. There will be longer school days and more homework. We will have a female president. More people will decide to work for the government to help us follow the Constitution. School cafeterias will serve very healthy and grown-up meals with nothing bad for you at all. New species of animals will be found, maybe even a fanged bunny.
Julia Rudy, 9
For the next decade I predict that the Phillies will win the World Series at least four times. I also predict President Barack Obama will not be reelected. I also think that the Yankees will not be in any World Series. I think that we will discover 20 more planets.
Raza Rizal, 9
Technology has made its way around the world, but only some of us have the ability to follow it, to see how it has spread. In this next decade, I imagine faster cars, intercontinental train tracks, and airplanes that shoot out of the atmosphere and then back in. Soon, it's going to be as simple to travel from New York to Nairobi as it is to go to the mall. Just as all technology makes its way from the largest cities to the smallest towns, so will this new reality of travel.
Ruthie Rosenberg, 22
In a decade what I think will happen is the North Pole will start melting and animals that live there will start losing their lives. I also think that more animals will be discovered. I also think there will be a cure for cancer.
Lucy Ramsey, 8
I think there will start to be vacation resorts in outer space and vegan fast food chains. The fast food will be completely kind to animals and nothing derived from animals in the whole company.
Avital Raff, 10
I think that there will be money trees. People always say that money doesn't grow on trees, but I think that will be wrong.
Jessica Munis, 9
Machines will do human jobs that are too boring or too dangerous for humans to do effectively. Almost everybody will do their shopping online. In the next decade, the number of people using the Internet will have risen by at least 50 million users. There will be vaccines, treatments, and cures for diseases that can't be treated or cured and vaccinated now. There will be virtually any antidote for people who are poisoned and a lot of antibiotics for people with viruses. I think there will be more pandemics like H1N1 and vaccines and cures for those illnesses. Surgeries will be much more successful than they are now and everyone will get access to these treatments.
William Ouligian, 9
I predict that in the next 10 years a woman will be the president of the United States. I think that because Hillary Clinton came so close to winning.
Olivia Malloy, 10
In the next decade I think that scientists will have made a lot more discoveries, like whether there is life on Mars. I think they would have made stuff that can hover, like hover skateboards. I also think scientists would be able to send people to the moon for vacation, and bring dinosaurs back to life and be able to make them friendly to humans. Lastly I think that projectors will be in 3D.
Jaron Stacey, 9
I think that restaurants will have mini-computers instead of menus, and you can just type in what you want, and it will go directly to the kitchen.
Jordan Beck, 11
I predict that the Minnesota Vikings will win the Super Bowl in February 2010. In 2012 the Miami Dolphins will win the Super Bowl. Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco will change his name to Chad Ochosiete after he is traded from Cincinnati and forced to change his number. Philip Rivers will be the greatest quarterback since Dan Marino to never win a Super Bowl. In baseball, the Washington Nationals will make the playoffs by 2017. The Yankees won't win another championship this decade. Dan Uggla will win MVP in 2015. Ichiro Suzuki will break Pete Rose's all-time hits record.
Billy Patterson, 11
I think the Iraqi war will end. I also think that we will have made a difference in how we deal with different races. Maybe there will be a broader range of ethnicities in our government. Maybe a woman would be president.
Melissa Miller, 11
The air will be polluted, and we will all live in a world filled with smog that we created. Our lives will be altered immensely, and we will be forced to live indoors, away from the disgusting world that was once so beautiful.