School is in for Australia’s first robot teacher

The new teacher, Professor Tubby at Firbank Junior Grammar School, is a bit different.
Mar 31, 2021
Prof Tubby holds an honorary robotics Phd

The new teacher, Professor Tubby at Firbank Junior Grammar School is a bit different, Tubby is an android which is a humanoid robot that mimics human form and behaviour via a HTI (Human Thought Interface).

Prof Tubby (the robot) has an honorary PHD in robotics because, robot, and naturally he will teach the children about robotics.

The school admits Tubby may be powered by a human called ‘Paul' but the STEM focus of the students and dedication to science literacy is clear.

It’s critical that Australian kids get familiar with robotics, according to an Oxford Economics report, the Australian region is most likely to be changed by robotics in the coming five to ten years.

Head of Campus, Brad Nelson says that this prediction highlights the next generation's need for understanding the fundamentals of robotics and providing them with clear STEM career pathways.

Brad says that robotics teaches students the fundamentals of coding, computing, engineering and project planning and teaches problem solving, critical thinking, mathematics and allows them to use their curiosity to project into the future.

“This is hands on learning with physical applications in a digital world. This is the opposite of most online based models that takes the real world and makes it digital which is possibly difficult to grasp for younger children. This takes technology beyond the screen and into the future, all they need is the curiosity to think of an application and our new robotics expert will be there for inspiration.”

Robots in the education sector will have significant implications for teachers' roles and their professional identity as human teachers move from being often solitary sources of learning to becoming learning and teaching managers who need to provide learning opportunities creatively utilising technology as it develops in society.

The school is a leader in science literacy where students use robotics and 3D printing to design and build devices.  Brad says any child that is not learning STE(A)M and science literacy from a young age is potentially under prepared for the future world and the job market.