Interactive Fun at Afternoon of Tech

Afternoon of Tech boys with drone

There was something for everyone at Poly’s second annual Afternoon of Technology. Even the Blue Devil mascots showed up and were amazed by the robots created by the Robotics team and on display. The keynote speaker captivated the community with her talk about innovation and the process of design thinking to solve problems. Drones whirled high up to the rafters in the gym to the delight of students. And everyone’s favorite robotic dog, Aibo, the perfect pet, was on hand as well.

Afternoon of Tech, robot dog with child
Poly’s robotic dog, Aibo, continued his habit of charming techies of all ages.

The afternoon’s activities were spread throughout the Novogratz Gym and Legacy Gym, but began with the presentation by the keynote speaker in the Novogratz.

Keynote Address by Product Designer
Afternoon of Tech Jean Belford and keynote speaker Erica Lorraine Parker

Computer and Information Science Department Chair Jean Belford P’24 introduced Senior Healthcare Product Designer Erica Lorraine Parker, who has worked on the design and engineering of technologies used by the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, as the keynote speaker. Parker also presented hands-on workshops for all ages throughout the afternoon.

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”

Parker talked about her education at Howard, becoming an architect, her career, and her work in innovation design. Design, she said, is “messy and complex and requires a multidisciplinary approach.” In her innovative designs she emphasized empathy as a driver where one tries to “put oneself in someone else’s shoes to understand what is needed” such as when she was asked to design an MRI machine.

Drones, Robots, and Video Games
Afternoon of Tech with Blue Devil mascots and robot

There is something about launching a drone, maneuvering it through obstacles and space, and looking up into the “sky” while making it flip in the air. That’s very exciting for a young student, way too young to drive a motor vehicle. 

Nearby, Kyle Williams ’23 and other members of Poly’s Robotics team demonstrated the robot that they have created in the MakerSpace for competitions. 

Watch some of the day’s highlights!
Afternoon of Tech, Heidi Zarou, Jean Belford, Stacy Hunter
Heidi Zarou ’86, P’22, ’22, Jean Belford P’24, and Stacy Hunter P’15

In other parts of the gyms, Technology Support Specialist Vinson Huang showed youngsters how to use the 3D printer. Director of Lower School Technology Stacy Hunter P’15 and art teacher Heidi Zarou ’86, P’22, ’22 got down on the floor to play with small DASH robots with younger students. At a table demonstration Marisa Triola ’24 and her father, Dr. Marc Triola P’24, talked about the use of technology in healthcare. At a Makey Makey table, Lower School students tested bananas and Play Doh to see if they were good conductors of electricity. There was also laser cutting for the artistic techies.

Head of Technology Charles Polizano P’18 talked with students about cryptography at another table. Network and Systems Manager Pasquale Cioffi moderated a display about Poly’s championship eSports team.

After an afternoon of fun, a dinner of Jase’s BBQ was the perfect way to end the day.