Teq Rolls Outs Nine NAO Robots in New York City Schools
— Celebrating National Robots Week (April 5-13): I.S. 126K, 136K, 302K and Icahn 4 Use NAO Robots to Engage Students in STEM Curriculum–
Huntington Station, NY and New York City, April 7, 2014 –Teq, the educational technology and professional development company, today announced that it is rolling out nine NAO humanoid robots in classrooms around New York City for middle school students at I.S.126K, I.S. 136K and I.S. 302K in Brooklyn, and at Icahn 4 Charter School in the Bronx. The schools are using the NAO robot to engage students in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) subjects, by providing them with hands-on experiences with the two-foot tall voice-activated NAO robot.
Teq pairs the robot with its JumpStart NAO professional development services that enable educators to quickly become proficient with all the NAO robot has to offer, and provides a framework for a STEM-centered curriculum. The NAO robot is a humanoid robot used for academic purposes worldwide, with a unique sensor network that includes cameras for facial and object recognition, a microphone for voice commands, along with a voice synthesizer (so it can “talk”) and two high fidelity speakers.
At I.S. 302 Rafael Cordero Middle School in Brooklyn, the NAO robot is being used in its stand-alone bilingual program, with Spanish-speaking students learning how to “code” in English. With their computer coding, they are commanding the robot to stand up, sit down and walk. In the special needs classroom, the students are working on custom navigation by developing and designing a path within the classroom for NAO to navigate. Some students are even adding an audio and music component to their coding work, for the robot to perform based on their “coding” commands.
“The NAO robot enhances our technology education and gets our students excited about STEM subjects,” said Lisa Linder, Principal, I.S. 302. “We have already seen the impact it has had on our students, with a surge of interest in technology and STEM learning.”
More than 90 eighth graders at the John Ericsson Middle School (126K), Magnet School for Environmental Engineering in Brooklyn, are working with two NAO robots in a specially-designed science class held every Friday, which includes computer coding and hands-on work with the robots.
“As engaging as it is educational, the NAO robot is a powerful academic tool that prepares and gets students student excited about emerging careers of the twenty-first century,” said Marcos Bausch, Principal, I.S. 126.
At Icahn Charter School 4 in the Bronx, elementary school students in the robotics club (for third-sixth graders) led by Mrs. Jessica Kingsbury, are learning to program the robot using simple and complex commands –movement, adding audio, and answering questions. The NAO robot is also used in kindergarten classrooms and will soon be used in first through sixth grade classrooms to foster an interest in STEM subjects. Using the JumpStart NAO program from Teq, 13 teachers including the principal and staff developer have had the opportunity to learn how to program NAO and how it can be used to incorporate STEM competencies into other content areas.
“I am glad to have the support of Jeff Litt, Superintendent of the Icahn Schools, who encourages innovative educational programs throughout his schools,” said Michelle Allen, Principal at Icahn Charter School 4. “When innovative STEM products such as NAO are incorporated into an educational program, there’s no limit to a child’s imagination and a teacher’s creativity.”
Four NAO robots will be rolled out this Spring at Charles O. Dewey I.S 136 in Brooklyn for its middle school students for use in its after-school robotics club, and in the Fall for a sixth-grade gifted and talented robotics class.
“The NAO Robot is a great way to help prepare our students for careers in computers and technology. With access to a NAO robot, they can learn a variety of skills and gain experience that will be useful in future careers,” said Eric Sackler, Principal of I.S. 136.
Joe Dixon, Chief Learning Officer for Teq, commented “With the NAO robot, students build important problem-solving skills while promoting collaboration, communication and out-of-the-box thinking to achieve solutions. The NAO robot is an exciting teaching aid, with teachers at the center of the instruction helping students engage in STEM subjects and gain hands-on computer programming experience.”
With JumpStart NAO, students are introduced to a wide range of robotics-related fields, including computer science, engineering and physics. It provides a comprehensive, hands-on approach that enables educators to quickly become proficient with all the NAO robot has to offer. Teq is the exclusive New York and New Jersey K-12 marketplace distributor of NAO Robots.
Developed by Aldebaran Robotics, the NAO robot is designed to captivate students while fully engaging them in the complex learning demanded by the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) curriculum.
Dedicated to championing the evolution of the modern classroom, Teq has provided solutions to improve student learning since 1972. Its professional development team of more than 30 educational professionals works closely to empower educators, leverage and improve technology integration, and increase student achievement and success in the Common Core curriculum. Teq provides clients with a unique blend of experienced service, innovative products and incomparable support, while fostering passion and creativity in the twenty-first century learning environment.
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Lisa Hendrickson/LCH Communications for Teq