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‘Saucy, hugger-mugger’ Insulting robot teaches kids about Shakespeare

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- The Bryan Innovation Lab at The Steward School is going to new heights in education.

They've invited teachers from across the area to learn about "modern knowledge": robotics, 3-D printing, computer programming, electronics, and more.

"So, instead of something that has to be 100 percent curriculum based, they get the chance to be creative," lead technologist Shane Diller said, “which is something teachers don't get a chance to do. Just play."

Shakespeare wrote 'friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears'.  One group of teachers used a 3-D printer to recreate the famous bard’s head.

Then they attached it to a remote controlled base to move it around the room.

For fun, they programmed robot Will to, through embedded speakers , insult you in a way someone from Shakespeare’s time might.

Robot Shakespeare called me a "saucy, pussillanimous, hugger-mugger."

Another group of teachers built a robot Vincent van Gogh.

"Inside you can see where he's wired with the makey-makey, which is then connected to the computer and the scratch program," teacher Kathy Karmolinski explained.

Push a button and robot van Gogh will tell you all kinds of facts, including: "van Gogh produced his most famous art work while in a mental hospital."

Steward teacher Robin Ricketts said educators need to keep up with changing technology to better teach students.

"All over the world we see this moving into schools and becoming what we think of as traditional knowledge," Ricketts said.

"We're trying to teach them how to be able to adapt.  And it's the same sort of thing with them.  They'll be able to teach their students how to adapt," Diller agreed.