Classroom robot boosts STEM, engages children with autism


Stacey watches NAO and its pre-programmed dance. Copyright-The Associated Press.

To help celebrate National Robotics Week, one little robot-that-can is making its home in U.S. classrooms, helping train children with special needs and advancing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curricula.

The robot–named NAO–also has a snarky sense of humor. That’s because students in Hutchinson School District’s Career and Technical Education Academy can program NAO’s conversation.

“Do you like chocolate?” NAO asked instructor Steve Stacey. When Stacey answered “No,” NAO responded with “Do you even have taste buds?”–a response written by sophomore Gage Brown.

(Next page: Securing funding for NAO)

Meris Stansbury

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