Global project-based learning can bring students’ interests to life, igniting new passions as students discover different ideas and perspectives from around the world. PenPal Star Gia already loved science, so when she had a chance to participate in Robotics, she was able to explore a new aspect of science with PenPals from around the world.
Gia was recognized for her creative robot design, inspired by her love of dogs! Gia told us, “I chose to create a dog that is a guard dog and also playful. I came up with it from experience with my dogs. They are very protective and very playful. I wanted to create this because not everyone wants to take care of a dog.”
As Gia designed her robot, she got to learn about different aspects of robotics, including hardware, software, and artificial intelligence. She shared her ideas while learning from different PenPals from around the world. Check out of some of Gia’s thoughtful and curious responses!
PENPAL SCHOOLS: What do you know about robots? What questions do you have about robots?
GIA: I know that some robots can help people and others can also help the environment. They can do things that some people aren't able to do. The only question I have about robots is how are they able to do those things with out malfunctioning?
What are three different robots that you see in your community? What different purpose does each robot serve?
There was a project that we just got finished doing called Lego Mindstorms~ It helped us figure out how to program robots. Also there is an animatronic that is at pizza places~ it's for entertainment for little kids. There is also a robot that looks like a dog~It opens doors and does things a human could do.
Engineers can make a robot better by updating its software. How would you improve the software of a robot or device that you use?
I would improve the software by adding in new things every 2 weeks. I could add in tips and how to use the robot. While also updating the system and adding in new things to help people with. I could go to the person who updates the robot and ask him or her to add in changes.
Do you think that improvements in artificial intelligence will help or hurt humans in the future? Why?
I feel like it could do both. Some things people make is meant to help people but also it may malfunction and something may go wrong. I know people do not mean for this to happen but sometimes it does. It could be either one in my opinion.
As Gia reflected on her experience, she shared what surprised her about learning with so many different PenPals.
“The two things that surprised me were, for one, I saw all different types of students from all over the world. The second thing that surprised me was when I saw all the different answers. Some of the students looked at things from a different perspective than I would've. I never would've thought of something like that. Then I saw the answers and it made sense. It surprised me.”
With such curiosity, it’s no surprise that Gia’s favorite class is science! “I love learning about physics and the human body,” she told us. This 8th grader wants to visit Los Angeles, California because she loves the beach, and when she’s not learning with PenPals you can find her riding horses!
We caught up with Gia recently to learn more about her experience in Robotics.
PENPAL SCHOOLS: What has been your favorite thing about learning with PenPals?
GIA: My favorite thing has been learning about the different types of robots and what they do. How they make the world better.
What is the most interesting thing you learned from your PenPals?
I learned that some people have a different mindset than others. They think different ways.
How has your project changed the way you think about the world?
It changed the way I thought about the world because I never would've thought of the world without the things we have now. Like cellphones, electric cars, siri, alexa. It would've made things a little more challenging for different people.
Why do you think it's important to learn with other students from around the world?
They look at things a lot more differently than we do. They have more experience and they think of things we haven't thought of yet.
How did you feel when you found out you were going to be featured as a PenPal Star?
Excited, happy. I couldn't contain my happiness.
What advice do you have about being a great PenPal?
Whatever is in your mind, put it down. You could get an opportunity like I did. Don't think about what other people tell you. You're your own person.
Congratulations to Gia, and thanks for being such a great PenPal!
Your students can design robots with PenPals around the world, too! Join Robotics today to start exploring, learning, and designing new technology.