Saturday, May 7, 2011

Visit to Fruit Street Elementary School

On Thursday, R2-D2 and I spent the entire school day at the Fruit Street School.

We had been contacted by the school librarian, whom we share a mutual friend.  Last fall they had inquired about having R2 make a visit to the school.  They wanted to make it part of something the kids were learning about.  They also wanted to figure out the best way for the kids to meet R2.  A large assembly or have each class come visit us in the library.  

With over 300 students ranging from Pre-K to 3rd grade, they decided on having each class or two come to the library for a presentation with Questions and Answers (my favorite!).

Like past school visits, I do not have any pictures to post since I do not have the appropriate approval to do so.  

We started at 9:15 and for each class, R2 came out from behind a bookshelf, greeted the kids by driving around, beeping and interacting with them.  The kids asked some really good questions.  For most events, people are more interested in the technical aspects of how I built R2.  With the kids, they are asking personal questions of R2.  What's does R2-D2 eat?  What does this do, what does that do?  Does R2 have a girlfriend?  Where's Threepio? And so on.  

I had a short, 30 minute lunch break at noon.  I was able to plug R2's netbook and body electronics batteries to the charger during that time.  

After lunch, we continued with the remaining sessions.  R2 kept working perfectly until the very last class.  The dome battery started to run low on power, so the logic displays that randomly blink and change color were staying on, meaning the voltage was getting low.  

To R2's credit, this was the first time we had done an all-day event like this.  For everything to work for almost 7 hours straight is great!  

The entire staff and children were great.  The 1st graders asked me to join them for lunch, so I did (I have lunch with adults all the time!  Why not hang out with some 5 and 6 year olds?).  It was a lot of fun to eat lunch with them and notice I was among the few with front teeth! 

With the recent changes to the sound system, it was really surprising to see how well the power system is doing.  R2 and I are enjoying a well-deserved weekend off before we prepare for a weekend of back-to-back events next Saturday and Sunday!