January 9, 2017
ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Bobbi Merryman, a kindergartener at the Sacred Heart School in Lynn, programs “Kibo,” the classroom’s robot.
By MICHELE DURGIN
LYNN — Sacred Heart School is putting technology and instant access to information into its traditional curriculum with the addition of a robotics program, created by Kindercare Robotics, Inc.
“This is a great age to introduce a program that promotes team building, along with problem-solving skills and twenty-first century technology, in a fun and different way,” said Rosemary Mathias, 64, a 30-year veteran educator, who is in her fourth year as the school’s Kindergarten teacher.
According to Mathias, the 14 students in her class are enthusiastic and motivated to work with “Kibo,” their classroom robot, and always give their undivided attention when the robot is involved.
Five-year-old Jacob Trahan was excited about creating a program that directs Kibo to perform movements that he and his partner, Maurice Cordy, 6, have selected.
“I liked that we could program Kibo to do things that we picked for him. We made him flash and light up. When I clapped in his ear he would spin around,” said Trahan. “But, my favorite part was making Kibo beep.”
Classmate Milani Montesinos, 5, said, “Bobbi (Merryman) and I made ours glow red, white and blue and we put the clapping cube on the robot. And then we scanned it. That’s what made it work.”
First-year principal, Mary DeAngelo, 31, is pleased with the addition of the robotics program and hopes to see it used throughout the school, over time.
“To see the excitement on the kids faces is terrific,” she said. ”They truly look forward to doing the Science and Math pieces every day, because the robot is involved.The future is now, and we must keep up with it, especially in the classroom.”
Harrison Hearns, 5, summed up Kibo’s positive impact in the classroom when he said, “I like to scan Kibo’s blocks and make him spin and march. I count his spins. But I really love when he sings because he’s a bad singer and that make me laugh!”
DeAngelo said the two-day training program that Mathias and fellow Kindergarten teacher,Tammy Hovey participated in was well done and informative. She added that both she and the school’s computer teacher, Phil Duffy, would love to see all of the teachers on staff be given the opportunity to take part in future training sessions.