August 10, 2007
RoboCup Competition - Discover how students scored a goal for robotics at a summer competition.
What Students Want - Find out what some students want from their teachers when school starts.
Before We Go - Learn about a teacher whose dream of space travel has finally taken off.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MONICA LLOYD, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Hey there. Thanks for checking out your newest CNN Student News Webcast. We're wrapping up the summer and getting ready to kick off the school year. I'm Monica Lloyd. The four-legged league. The dance challenge. The two millimeter dash. They're all part of a different summer games, ones that let students stretch their mental muscles. And what can teachers do to make the first day back in class a positive one? We've got a few suggestions from students. But first, a pop quiz!
GEORGE RAMSAY, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for the Shoutout! What language does the word robot come from: Is it A) Norwegian, B) Swiss, C) Japanese or D) Czech? You've got three seconds -- Go! The word robot comes from the Czech word "robota," which means "servitude" or "forced work." That's your answer and that's your Shoutout.
LLOYD: The sports world has plenty of famous cups. There's the Stanley Cup, the Nextel Cup, even the World Cup. But you might not know about RoboCup. It's not just forced work for these robot competitors. Events at the contest let the players work on their mechanics and give students the opportunity to exercise their creativity and technical know-how as they pilot their creations to victory. Bonnie Schneider breaks down the nuts and bolts of this year's games.
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BONNIE SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It shoots. It scores! Robots and their humans from 37 countries are competing at RoboCup 2007 at Georgia Tech. While these students are very smart, so are their 'bots.
PROF. MARTIN RIEDMILLER, UNIVERSITY OSNABRUCK: The robots also communicate. If one has the ball, it communicates to its teammates, "I have the ball, please go away."
SCHNEIDER: The goal of this competition is to morph these sports skills into everyday tasks.
RIEDMILLER: All these features can be used to develop robots that can be used in daily life, even work in factories where they can cooperate to produce a product.
SCHNEIDER: Younger students bonded with their robots for some performance art, even a little "robot rap." And for the first time ever, microscopic robots are competing. A standard soccer ball would be out of the question. So what do these tiny bots do?
CRAIG MCGRAY, NATL. INST. OF STANDARDS & TECHNOLOGY: The two millimeter dash is the first qualifying run that all the robots have to do. Once they clear that, they move to a slalom course and finally demonstrate their ability to manipulate objects in the micro domain with a ball handling drill.
SCHNEIDER: And don't be surprised if some day your doctor uses some of these tools, perhaps for delicate surgery. Competitors know they're on the cutting edge.
BRADLEY KRATOCHVIL, SWISS FEDERAL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY: A lot of this is about pushing the technology. So, there aren't very many teams or research groups in the world that can really move robots at this scale. It allows us to be a little more creative and solve simpler problems on the way to solving more complicated tasks.
SCHNEIDER: Bonnie Schneider, CNN, Atlanta.
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LLOYD: Now robo-soccer and miniature machines weren't the only draws at Georgia Tech. A group of teenagers showed off their leadership potential at the university during a conference there this summer. It's all part of a program called Leadership Unplugged, where about one hundred Georgia high school students moved into dorms on the college campus and spent a week talking and working with professionals in the news business. They even came up with their own news stories and pitched those ideas to the pros.
Word to the Wise
RAMSAY: A Word to the Wise...
syllabus (noun) a summary or outline of a course of study
LLOYD: When the first bell of the school year rings, you can expect to get some handouts about what you'll be studying. But if you were designing a syllabus for your teachers, what would be on it? Well, Carl Azuz asked a few students at the Leadership Unplugged conference, and got some tips for teachers for the first day of class.
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS: All right, teachers, take notes: Students are back, and they have a syllabus of their own! So if you want those fresh faces to be smiling ones, here are a few things to keep in mind when the bell rings. Lesson one:
STUDENT: Handouts from the teachers.
AZUZ: Come superlative time, these will not win "most popular."
KIRSTINA KORB, STUDENT, CENTENNIAL HIGH SCHOOL: After they print it out for you, they read it themselves.
AMBER PRATHER, STUDENT, BANNIKER HIGH SCHOOL: I know how to read all by myself. I made it to the 12th grade. I know how to read.
CAITLYN RYAN, SOUTH FORSYTH HIGH SCHOOL: That doesn't make us want to come back. It makes us want to sleep in their class or skip it!
AZUZ: Kinda leads to a bad excuse, though: The syllabus made me do it! Now we know that some teachers are required to go over the syllabus, and in that case, we'll give you a hall pass. And students, turnabout is fair play...
IDREES SYED, NORTHVIEW HIGH SCHOOL: Actually, last year one of my teachers, she gave us an assignment on the first day. She said, "Just read through the syllabus with your parents." But then, the next day, she gave us a quiz on it and I didn't really read the syllabus and then I ended up doing badly on it.
AZUZ: Oops! Now for chapter two:
AZUZ: That was on the wanted list of a lot of high school students we spoke to at the Leadership Unplugged program in Atlanta. And on the first day back, students want to feel the love, not the fear.
STUDENT: I think I'm going to have to say intimidation.
STUDENT: Being intimidated by the teacher.
AZUZ: So some think scare tactics should be suspended 'til Halloween. And the worst thing a teacher can do?
STUDENT: Oh, yell at you.
AZUZ: Though we're not sure if something was done to cause that yelling. Even first-day jitters don't usually trigger rage! Adjectives like "kind" and "understanding" came up a lot when students were asked what they wanted in their teachers. And if you classroom captains want to kiss up to your kids, do something sweet.
SEQUOIA BATES, SOUTH GWINNETT HIGH SCHOOL: Food always wins me over. Any type of food, like candy, sweets, anything like that.
PRATHER: Probably try to give us snacks or candy.
AZUZ: Most students want a little time to talk.
CARABETH MILLER, SEMINOLE COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL: You just got back from summer break and you didn't get to see your friends, some of them. So you want to have conversations about what happened.
AZUZ: Others want to break the ice...
STUDENT: Like you know those name games.
STUDENT: Like a really challenging name game.
STUDENT: Play games with us, activities.
STUDENT: Turn on the radio or make it fun.
AZUZ: So basically, do anything but teach. Unless of course you want to keep your job, in which case you'll probably have to disappoint some students. But there is one thing you can do that seems to win over everybody:
STUDENT: I just need kindness, her being nice to every student. Treating everybody fairly is all I really need.
AZUZ: And that tops off our syllabus designed with teachers in mind. Wishing you a spectacular school year, I'm Carl Azuz for CNN Student News.
LLOYD: Before we go, a teacher who's out of this world. Barbara Morgan has been in a holding pattern for more than 20 years. She was selected as a backup astronaut in the 1980s, and in 2002, she became a mission specialist astronaut. Well, on August 8th, Morgan's journey into space finally reached orbit. The former Idaho teacher took off from the launch pad on the space shuttle Endeavor. There, she's part of a seven-person crew on a mission to the International Space Station. That mission's scheduled to last 11 days.
LLOYD: And that's where our summer Webcast blasts off. But before we go, there's a birthday we want to mention: ours! That's right, CNN Student News is turning 18 on August 14th. But we're not worried about going gray anytime soon, just looking forward to the start of a brand new year. And that year gets going on August 20th, when we'll be back here with our daily show. We'll see you back here then, but for now, check out our very first show. We had a different name and a different look. Thanks for watching, everybody. I'm Monica Lloyd. E-mail to a friend
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