Hull Elementary School Works with iRobot as Part of STEM Learning

Hull Public Schools
Michael F. Devine, Superintendent
180 Harborview Road
Hull, MA 02045

For Immediate Release

Monday, Jan. 14, 2019

Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 617-993-0003
Email: [email protected]

Hull Elementary School Works with iRobot as Part of STEM Learning

HULL — To kick off the month of January and reignite students’ passion for learning following their holiday break, Jacobs Elementary School brought in a member of iRobot for a series of demonstrations and activities.

On Jan. 4, students gathered for a school-wide assembly, organized by technology teacher Kerrie Ryan and led by iRobot engineer Andy String.

Based out of Bedford, iRobot has been in business for nearly 30 years, selling more than 20 million robots and developing technology that has saved lives, helped the environment and even inspired NASA.

During his presentation, String spoke to students for nearly an hour, sharing videos and engaging them in demonstrations with the Roomba vacuum. He asked students questions like “what is a robot?” and shared information about the PackBot robot, which is used by U.S. troops overseas.

“Students were highly engaged during the presentation, with the majority of students volunteering to ask and answer questions at appropriate times during the assembly,” Principal Christine Cappadona said. “Their curiosity remained strong throughout the day as students and staff could be heard talking about robotics in the halls, at recess and during lunch. It truly was an enriching experience for all.”

As an advocate for iRobot’s STEM outreach program, String travels around the state to visit students and share how each machine encompasses various aspects of science, technology, engineering and math.

Following his presentation, String held 30-minute workshops for every first and second grade homeroom, where students sat in a circle and watched as he ran two different robots and talked about why they behave differently to solve the same problem.

Students then gathered around a table where they had the opportunity to take robots apart, pass around various pieces, and discuss how the pieces function and the differences between a navigating robot and a non-navigating robot.

“My favorite part of the workshop was seeing the machine that squirted water,” said first grade student Delaney McAuliffe. “Touching the parts was cool too!”

“I like seeing all the stuff inside in the robot,” added first grade student Christian Silva. “I also liked when it bumped into us!”