English High Students Team with Pepper the Robot to Kickoff Computer Science Week

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English High School students have a new partner who's probably not going to be late to class -- Pepper the Robot.

9th grade English High student Jaheim Boles shakes hands with Pepper the Robot during an event to kick off Computer Science Education Week in Boston Public Schools on Dec. 3, 2018. (Courtesy Boston Public Schools)

On Monday, students from English's award-winning robotics team showed how the 4-foot tall robot interacts with humans to kickoff Computer Science Education Week for Boston Public Schools (BPS).

English High is one of 10 high schools in Boston with computer science programs that have started to use Pepper robots in the classroom. At English, students are learning how to use Pepper to recognize human movements and commands to lead Pepper to respond with a fist-bump, bow its head, open its hand or do a 360-degree spin.

Pepper was donated by SoftBank Robotics America, which is donating 100 Peppers in public schools in Boston, San Francisco and British Columbia in Canada.

Boston Public Schools

An English High student works to program Pepper the Robot.

“What’s wonderful about Pepper is that it brings computer science alive and makes learning more engaging for our students,” said Boston School Committee Chairperson Michael Loconto. “It’s important to continually think of innovative ways to provide our students the skills they need to succeed in the STEM fields.”

This week in BPS schools, students are participating in the 2018 BPS Student Coders Contest, which encourages them to use code to create animations, video games, robots and more.