LOWELL ߝ Teens from Lowell High School joined computer science and art students from UMass Lowell to create robotics with an artsy flair this summer, in the first part of a three-year project funded by the National Science Foundation.
The seven students invented moving, interactive displays that were exhibited at the Lowell Folk Festival and at an international conference in Boston. Their work is designed to introduce computing to the public in an accessible and engaging manner, from a clever sock monkey that does flips when anyone comes near to the six-foot-high FRED (Fantastic Robotic Electronic Dancer), that mimics human visitors and has its own “pet.”
The summer project culminates with a new exhibit that will open at the Revolving Museum on Aug. 31 and run through the end of September. In addition, the students will create a permanent “heart and hand” fountain in a museum courtyard by renovating and re-designing an existing structure to incorporate water, lights and sensors.
The exhibit’s opening reception will be Thursday, 3 ߝ 5 p.m., Aug. 31, at the Revolving Museum, 22 Shattuck St. in downtown Lowell. Student inventors and their faculty mentors will be on hand to show their work and describe the process of designing, programming and construction their creations.
Supervising and harnessing the young talent have been artist Jerry Beck, director of the Revolving Museum, and UML professors Hyun Ju Kim, Art Department, and Holly Yanco and Fred Martin, Computer Science Department.
UMass Lowell, www.uml.edu, a comprehensive university with a national reputation in science, engineering and technology, is committed to educating students for lifelong success in a diverse world and conducting research and outreach activities that sustain the economic, environmental and social health of the region. UML offers its 11,000 students more than 120 degree choices.
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