FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
Terri the Robot interacts with participants of the Hawaii Science and Engineering Fair.
Festival welcomes android of honor
Terri the Educational Robot is part of Bishop Museum's "Mad About Science" event on Saturday
He presents keynote addresses. He answers in-depth science questions. And, he sings. No, we are not talking about a multitalented human -- it's Terri the Educational Robot.
MAD ABOUT SCIENCE FESTIVAL
Place: Bishop Museum
Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday
Admission: $3 for kamaaina, military and museum members; all others pay regular admission fees
Call: 847-3511 or visit bishopmuseum.org
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has brought the robot to the islands to participate in science fairs, school events and a meet-and-greet with families at the Bishop Museum's "Mad About Science" Festival Saturday.
"It's a great tool for engaging kids, it's so different," said Nadia Sbeih, outreach coordinator for NOAA. "He can interact almost on a human level ... ask questions and prompt them along."
Sbeih originally met Terri in New Orleans in January.
"He remembers people," she said. When she saw him again, months later, he said, "My friend Nadia, how are you?"
Terri is equipped with stereo cameras and bisynchronous audio, which means Terri can still hear others even when he is talking. He is also equipped with a daylight LCD screen that can display information.
Currently, the robot is being used to teach robotics curriculums at the university level, Sbeih said. Programs are also being developed for the classroom to assist children in special-education programs.
Festival-goers also have an opportunity to learn about archaeology, marine biology, entomology and other sciences. The festival's special focus is on healthy living, and at the "Medical Mysteries" tent, kids and their parents can become "doctor detectives."
COURTESY OF THE BISHOP MUSEUM
Charlotte Le, left, Kamille Tacub, and Trina Chun explore healthy food choices at Bishop "Museum's Medical Mysteries" Festival.
Participants learn about the tests doctors and nurses perform to diagnosis patients, through hands-on learning stations that allow them to check eyesight, bones, breath flow, urine and temperature. Visitors may also listen to their own heart, test how balanced their meals are and check their eyesight.
Picture boards of young patients are accompanied by a list of symptoms and descriptive details.
"The kids perform different tests to find out what's wrong," said Marie Kubo, science educator at Bishop Museum.
They compare their findings to the books and lists found in the diagnostic station.
"When doctors see this, they wish it were that easy," Kubo added.
Other highlights include behind-the-scenes tours of the museum's natural science collection, solar viewings with telescopes set up outside on the grounds and astronomy presentations in the Watumull Planetarium and the inflatable Starlab Planetarium.
Plus, Pacific Biodiesel shares how they create fuel for vehicles out of recycled food waste, and the Oahu Invasive Species Committee talks about how they tackle weeds that kill native plants.