Invasion of Glastonbury High School by Artificial Intelligence Robots - Hartford Courant

Invasion of Glastonbury High School by Artificial Intelligence Robots – Hartford Courant

Glastonbury – Robots, equipped with high-level artificial intelligence, are revealed at Glastonbury High School, and they quickly set out on their mission. Their mission – to increase the education of already excellent students at GHS – was already underway.

Robots were among the many high-tech machines now in the school’s new STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) lab. The lab, formerly a machining and carpentry workshop and small classroom, was the subject of a grand opening on October 6. The lab was completed last summer and opened at the beginning of the school year.

Rishabh Rupesh, a freshman, is seen taking a robot, named Nao, for a walk before asking Nao to sing a song – a request accepted.

“We can give him voice commands to do a lot of different activities,” said Rupish. “He can walk with me, he can also wave hello, and he can have conversations with you. He can actually learn things, so you can teach him to do more things that are not pre-programmed.”

When asked if a robot could find Sarah Connor, Rupish replied, “I don’t think so,” and added that AI teaches students how to program and program machines, with a better understanding of AI capabilities.

He said, “We learn how to program Nao, and how AI as a whole works. How do you teach things to behave as a human being.”

The lab also features 3D printers, multiple design workstations, and several technical trade tools.

Sherry Burke, assistant supervisor for Curriculum and Instruction, said the first idea for the lab dates back to 2015.

“This vision is now a reality,” she said. “We are thrilled that we opened our doors in August, on time and on a budget, and the kids there were so creative and creative.”

STEAM teacher Sherry Winchell-La Placa said the lab’s multiple stations will allow students to explore different aspects of design and think through the process for creating realistic prototypes and items. Principles of Robotics and Applied Engineering is one of the courses that will use the lab the most.

“They make robots, they think in space with drones and wind turbines,” she said. “We have a prosthetic hand that we build and program – we practice sign language with, and a lot of other things.”

Holly Constantine, art director for K-12, said the lab will be used in the design jobs cycle.

“It will open their eyes to what they can do as a career in art, and apply that to design,” she said, adding that students are currently designing gardens and green roofs.

Constantine said the collaborative space will also invite professionals to help with specific disciplines, and will primarily use the software in the Adobe Creative Suite.

Bella Weidmann, a sophomore in applied engineering, explained how she was using computer-aided design applications to create a sofa, trim and doorknob.

“Computer-aided design is one of my favorite things here, because of all the drawing and modeling. Seeing things become 3D and then come to life is really amazing,” Weidmann said, explaining how a computer drawing can become a model on lab software, and then be created On school 3D printers.

Student Bella Weidmann shows visitors how she designed a medal for the school's logo using computer-aided design (CAD) technology.

“We are using SolidWorks 2022,” she said. “They had us build something, and they would rank it according to how closely it matched the original design they gave us. I could print it on a 3D printer, or I could print a brochure, sort of like a diagram, of what I wanted to make.”

Hudson Case, who is very young, demonstrated ways in which digital photos can be manipulated, via PhotoShop, using images of the Eiffel Tower.

“If you want a little drama, you can change it to black and white, and with a little extra effort, you can add this dramatic contrast to it, and it really defines the shadows and highlights, and makes it look and feel,” Kiss said.

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Susan Karp, a former Board of Education chairwoman who volunteered to help with publicity and fundraising for the lab, thanked all of the donors who helped make the project possible.

“Not only are we improving the future of our students, but in fact, since people like me depend so heavily on them for their future, we are working to improve our future,” Karp said.

Karp added that the lab is, and always will be, a work in progress.

“What you will see tonight – the equipment you will see and the way the students participate – is the beginning, not the end. We will be looking to do more. We will look to add, we will look to innovate.”

GHS Principal, Nancy Bean, said the lab is an excellent addition to the school’s various tech curriculum.

“I think this is a very exciting time for Glastonbury High School,” Bean said. “I am so impressed with where I started. To see this vision now, with so many people being a part of that vision, is amazing and I am excited about what we bring to our students.”

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The new STEAM lab is equipped with several 3D printers to help bring students' designs to life.
Susan Karp, dubbed

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