Students harness the power of robots at M.S. 126
by Andrew Shilling
Oct 16, 2013 | 3273 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
John Ericsson Middle School in Greenpoint has come a long way over the last year, and is now delving into the high-tech world of robotic technology.

A magnet school for environmental engineering, officials at M.S. 126 brought in the team at Teq, an educational technology and professional development company based in Huntington Station, N.Y., to showcase the Jumpstart NAO robot program.

Students were able to work with the Jumpstart NAO robot, a humanoid robot that uses facial and object recognition, microphones for voice commands and sound location, to learn about the growing world of robot programming.

“As engaging as it is educational, the NAO robot is a powerful academic tool that prepares students for the emerging careers of the 21st century,” said Principal Marcos Bausch.

According to Teq CEO Damian Scarfo, the program is a great way for the students to have fun, while also expanding their need for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curriculum.

“JumpStart NAO helps students build important problem-solving skills while promoting collaboration, communication and out-of-the-box thinking to achieve solutions,” Scarfo said. “Students gain hands-on experience while they are introduced to a wide range of robotic-related fields, including computer science, engineering and physics.”

Teq, founded in 1972, has a team of over 30 educators who work with schools and teachers.

“Our mission is to champion the evolution of the modern classroom,” said Teq Learning Officer Joe Dixon. “It provides an incredible learning experience that helps prepare students for the challenging and fast-paced environments they will encounter in college and careers.”

Assistant principal Jeffrey Merced said it was a great way to get kids involved and develop their understanding of complex computer programs.

“NAO was brought into our school to help students learn coding and tackle other complex programming,” Merced said. “It’s a tremendous win for everyone involved.”

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