Teachers searching for innovative ways to interest kids in STEM learning should watch this video of high schoolers in Austin, Texas, producing their own robot fashion show at a local Barnes and Noble. That’s right! A robot fashion show complete with a runway and the latest fashions for well-dressed robots!
The students are from the award-winning robotics clubs of Anderson High School and Eastside Memorial. High School presented five ‘NAO’ humanoid robots developed by Aldebaran Robotics of Paris, France; they programed them with five distinct personalities, taught them to move like little models, and sent them down the runway strutting their stuff and dressed to the nines!
"This is a perfect STEM and STEAM project" said Elad Inbar of RobotsLAB who helped training the high schoolers on programming NAO robots and participated in the show. "We really hope that this experience will affect their future and help them choose STEM careers" he added. After all, that's what the whole schools system is about - preparing the graduates for their future.
Students are working on their programming skills, which will definately help them in the future agreed John Sperry the Robotics Teacher at Anderson HS and Donna Houser. "Many kids are not interested in mechanics and engineering, but these robots are helping them to choose an engineering career and solve problems that matter to society" he added.
“It’s applied learning and they love it,” says Donna Houser, principal at Anderson High School. “And they stayed in the club until 2 o'clock in the morning,” she says referring to the students’ efforts producing the show. “There’re very few other courses you can say that about!”
The students agree. “It was fun staying at school late!” says one of the young robotics engineers. “I definitely want to do the same thing next year,” said another!
That kind of enthusiasm can make a teachers job both easy and worthwhile!