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Bringing History to Life through Animatronics
Posted 3/13/23

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In honor of Black History Month, Dwyer Middle School students were proud to feature a special project that combined technology, creativity, and education through animatronics. The project, developed by the STEM Robotics class and Academy for the Performing Arts (APA) Jr. students, featured Martin Luther King Jr. and his contributions to society and the Civil Rights Movement.

Students learned how to program using an industry-standard animatronic named Specialized Programmable Animatronics and Robotics Kit Education, or SPARK-E for short. In collaboration, students from the APA Jr. Set Design and Costuming class transformed SPARK-E into Martin Luther King Jr. The fully functional animatronic model of Martin Luther King Jr. was complete with realistic facial expressions and body movements and was accompanied by audio that narrated his story. The project was shared with the entire school community and displayed in the school’s front office. 

"Our students have put a lot of effort into this project–we are so proud of what they have accomplished, this collaborative effort is just one example of how we celebrate diversity," said Dwyer Middle School Principal Dr. Christa Glembocki. "We’re excited to see what other prominent historical figures we can transform SPARK-E into!"

Through the project, students hope to educate others about the remarkable achievements of Martin Luther King Jr. and the importance of celebrating Black history. The animatronics model allows viewers to engage with Martin Luther King Jr.'s story in a fun and interactive way, helping to bring his legacy to life. It is also a testament to the school's dedication to incorporating technology and innovation into the curriculum.