MANCHESTER – Second and third graders at St. James School met a Macarena-dancing robot named Mixy on Oct. 31 and learned about the future in the process.
Dr. Lin Lin, assistant professor and program coordinator of engineering science and computer engineering technology at Middlesex Community College, acquainted the students with a programmable humanoid robot named Mixy which introduced itself, walked, danced the Macarena and told jokes.
Dr. Lin, who has a child at St. James, discussed, in a way the children could understand, robotics and programming. She also showed the students, on her computer, what the programming sequence for Mixy looked like. Mixy is one of a line of autonomous, programmable and humanoid Nao robots created by a company in France.
Several students had an opportunity to use the computer to program commands for Mixy.
"Many of today's second- and third-grade students will someday be instrumental in the future of robotics and engineering,” said Dr. Lin. “It was wonderful to see their enthusiasm and be able to answer their questions."
St. James School enrolls children in prekindergarten through eighth grade and is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. It was designated a U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School in 2010.
Among the programs the school offers is an after-school robotics club for students in sixth through eighth grade in which members build and program robots to perform specific tasks.
Additional information and pictures can be found online at www.saintjamesschool.net.