Robot Helps Spark Interest in Haverhill High STEM Academy

Story courtesy Haverhill Public Schools.

He’s two feet tall, has a hard plastic body, and eyes that light up.

He’s got a couple of cousins at the Moody School who have made national headlines for their work with students who have autism.

His name is Karl, and he’s by far the best evangelist for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) studies in the Haverhill Public Schools.

Karl is a robot built by Aldebaran, a French company that also creates software with education applications.

Among Karl’s first assignments have been to visit students in elementary schools, sparking to their curiosity about technology and, it is hoped, creating an interest in STEM courses that will follow them through middle and high school.

STEM is the focus of one of the academies at Haverhill High School, offering a concentration in the courses that will prepare students for the types of jobs that will be in high demand when they leave high school and college.

Students John Sanders and Robert Russell, members of the iTeam, already learned how to program Karl to do everything from built-in presets for speech and greetings to line-by-line customization for conversation and motion, said iSchool Facilitator Brian Nagel.

When he’s not busy promoting interest in Robotics and STEM-related academics for K-8 students, he will be hanging out with the Robotics Team, giving members hands-on experience with a high-level, highly programmable robot, Nagel said.