The Road 'Now' Taken: Where Robotics and Poetry Meet



The word "robotics" doesn't usually conjure up images of Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson. But for Springdale Junior High students, pairing robotics and poetry is an annual educational adventure. Sue Mellon, gifted support coordinator for the Allegheny Valley School District, explains that all eighth graders take Robotics Poetry, where they create a "Robot Theater." Students take a classical poem filled with beautiful imagery, pair it with a robotics kit and produce a diorama that lights up, moves and sways to sensors. It's a marriage of language, arts and robotics.
 

Q. What's the origin of robotics poetry?
Sue was taking a class coordinated by CMU's Robotics Institute when she was tasked with finding a unique way to use robotics, especially the Arts and Bots kit from CMU's CREATE Lab. Challenged, she came up with this! Lights flash, water changes color, curtains move and the students' recorded voices are synched to match the action in the "theater."

Q. How does this aid their learning?
Sue wanted to find a way to make poetry more interesting and easier to grasp for the students. She realized that the skills in working with robotics — reading and following instructions and repetition — can also be applied to learning poetry. Students are often able to find new meanings every time they re-read their poem.

Q. What else do they learn?
In addition to using basic computer language like Visual Programmer as well as learning rudimentary robotics, the students work together as a group. And for the eighth grade girls, the melding of the technical and literary arts is also important, since at that age many "self-select" out of technical fields. This holds their interest.

Learn more here.

 

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


2024 Eclipse Will Be Even More Impressive in Pittsburgh

2024 Eclipse Will Be Even More Impressive in Pittsburgh

Don’t toss out those eclipse glasses, you will need them again.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Watch: Pittsburgh's Italian Chefs Cook Up an Amazing BBQ

Watch: Pittsburgh's Italian Chefs Cook Up an Amazing BBQ

The fire-cooked meal organized by Justin Severino and Hilary Prescott Severino, included dishes prepared by chefs from Pittsburgh’s Italian restaurant community.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Best Places for Kids on Rainy Days in Pittsburgh

Best Places for Kids on Rainy Days in Pittsburgh

Read on for some under-the-radar ideas on how you and the kids can survive a rainy day this summer.

Comments


Time-Travel Drinking: Why We Need an '80s Bar

Time-Travel Drinking: Why We Need an '80s Bar

The case for an establishment where one can dine and drink while truly believing it's 1987.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Steelers Are a ‘Close Group’ Still Seeking an Identity

Steelers Are a ‘Close Group’ Still Seeking an Identity

The team looks good on paper, good in practice and even, uncharacteristically, good so far in the preseason. But very soon now, none of that will matter.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
#Gottahaveit: Take It To the Hoop

#Gottahaveit: Take It To the Hoop

Robert Hallett, Goldsmith, handcrafts the jewelry in his Oakmont shop.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
A Hitman and His Bodyguard Get Into Trouble (No Need to Overcomplicate Things)

A Hitman and His Bodyguard Get Into Trouble (No Need to Overcomplicate Things)

Reviews of "The Hitman's Bodyguard" and "Wind River," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Popping the Question Far Away from Home

Popping the Question Far Away from Home

Three grooms share how they carried their rings long distances to keep their brides-to-be in the dark until the moment they got on one knee.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Bombs Away: Arsenal 201 Apartments Open After Cannonball Removal

Bombs Away: Arsenal 201 Apartments Open After Cannonball Removal

Months after the Civil War-era cannonballs were discovered at the former arsenal and munitions factory in Lawrenceville, residents are given the green light to move into the 243-unit apartment complex.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Tuition Increases at the University of Pittsburgh

Tuition Increases at the University of Pittsburgh

School trustees voted this week to increase tuition for in-state and out-of-state students.

Comments

Edit Module

Edit Module