The Consortium for Research and Robotics, Hosted by Pratt Institute, recently developed a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) program in which fourth grade students from St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s school developed their math and problem-solving skills by working with the Consortium’s industrial robot, the largest in New York City. The program included sessions at St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s in Manhattan and at the Consortium, which is located in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

The federal government has made STEM learning in American schools a priority in order to equip students from preschool through high school with knowledge and skills for the jobs of the future.

In developing the program, Mark Parsons, executive director of the Consortium, coordinated with Aileen Wilson, director of Pratt’s Center for Art, Design, and Community Engagement K-12. “Robotics and research offer a unique opportunity for school-age children to apply their STEM learning in a design field. That’s a really distinctive contribution that Pratt has to offer,” said Wilson, who supported Parsons’ team as the program was developed.

Under the guidance of Parsons, the Consortium’s robotics manager Cole Belmont, student assistants from Pratt’s graduate architecture program, and teachers and staff from St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s, the fourth graders learned to transform drawings of geometric shapes and re-create them at different scales. They applied what they learned by working with the robot to create a collective artwork that incorporated their individual drawing into a single, large-scale piece.

This short video shows how the students engaged with the project and with the robot as it executed their work at the culmination of the program.