7-foot robot becomes hall monitor at Florida school

Droid part of emphasis on STEM in schools

Bob the robot patrols the halls at Lockhart Middle School.
Bob the robot patrols the halls at Lockhart Middle School.

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A seven-foot robot named “Bob” is one of several projects featured by 170 students at Lockhart Middle School in Central Florida.

Eighth grader Paris Robinson is one of the students who worked on Bob.

“That’s the robocop,” she said. “It patrols the hallways on our campus and keeps kids in class. We hope students will see it and be like, ‘Hey, I’ve got to stay in class.’”

The use of the droid is part of the Center for the Advancement of Science and Engineering magnet program at the school and Project Lead The Way, which educators say focuses students on learning in science, technology, engineering and math.

In addition, students showcased a life-sized replica of a Horten Ho 229 World War II plane they built with the help of a $3,000 grant from Duke Energy. The replica was built to fly and is 50 feet long and 7 feet high.

"It used to be just paperwork and we would be reading textbooks," eighth grader Ronin Ehrhart said. "But they're making a lot of the curriculum hands-on."

Students also tested out electric cars that run on lithium batteries as part of a project to test low power consumption and aerodynamics.

“Basically a yearlong project we’ve been working on and today, we’ve finally brought it all together,” seventh grader Ramya Custodio said.

“They learn how to weld, design and create a robocop, electric cars and airplane,” teacher Roger Barrios said.

The projects are funded through grants from Lockheed Martin and Duke Energy.

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