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New partnership to introduce schoolchildren to the world of robots

A new partnership between Swinburne University of Technology and
educational resources distributor The Brainary will deliver interactive robotics
workshops for schoolchildren across Australia and New Zealand. The partnership
will enable primary and high school students to access NAO, the world’s most
widely used humanoid robot for education and research.

The NAO Outreach Program has been made affordable to remove the cost
barrier for schools to participate in the educational workshops.

Swinburne’s Professor Leon Sterling, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Digital
Frontiers) and Mr Hugh Kingsley from The Brainary shared a vision to introduce
more young people to NAO, which has revolutionary applications in healthcare,
rehabilitation and special education.

Professor Sterling explained that the workshop will have students working
together in teams using software to develop programming for NAO. Students will then
get to see their programming come to life on a real NAO robot.

The NAO Outreach Program uses a peer-learning model where the program is
delivered to school students by Swinburne students. According to Mr Kingsley, school
students get the opportunity to learn from university students who are at the
cutting edge of robotics. At the same time, Swinburne students will also
benefit on a practical level by sharing their knowledge, experience and
research with school students.

The partnership will bring about new and exciting projects that will
make a positive difference to education and health, with practical outcomes.

Dr Therese Keane, senior lecturer in Education at Swinburne, who was
involved in running an NAO workshop over the school holidays last year, had the
opportunity to see first-hand the benefits of schoolchildren interacting with
advanced digital technology.

Dr Keane recalled that students were fully engaged in programming and
interacting with the robots during the three-day school holiday workshop.

Schools across Australia and New Zealand can now register for the
program by emailing

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