Talking Robot Teaches Children About Healthy Living

Learning at Central Elementary in Gulfport went hi-tech on Monday. A special visitor talked to students about healthy living.even though he really isn't alive. Gizmo, a life size robot, helps kids learn how things like cigarettes and alcohol can destroy their bodies. For almost an hour third, fourth, and fifth graders sat mesmerized by a speaker that wasn't even human.

"Sometimes it's the fact that I'm not human that they relate to me," said Gizmo. "Because you know they've never seen me before, and I don't have any kind of authority figure. I don't have a particular gender or race. I'm just me and that way it's fun, because they always think that I'm the million dollar machine."

Gizmo tells the students their bodies are the million dollar machines. He stresses to students over and over again the importance of taking good care of themselves.

Fifth grader Michael Robinson said "Your supposed to eat proper nutrition food and don't take any bad stuff like drugs or alcohol."

The robot's manner is friendly and his interactive style helps him drive his message home. Gizmo says although he calls the children the million dollars machines, he wants them to know they're actually priceless. After the presentation the children received additional learning materials in the classrooms to reinforce what they learned.

by Danielle Thomas