Boris the robot meets school pupils

Jon Platt

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YOUNGSTERS showed their curiosity when an unusual visitor went to their school yesterday.

Boris the humanoid robot met students and staff at Portsmouth High Junior School.

(l-r) Aristea Poutou (3) and Florence Highnam (4) meeting Boris. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (150871-9617) PPP-150805-160654001

(l-r) Aristea Poutou (3) and Florence Highnam (4) meeting Boris. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (150871-9617) PPP-150805-160654001

Head of juniors Paul Marshallsay said: ‘The girls were excited about Boris coming in as we told them little snippets about him.

‘We have been talking about robots, which was getting them interested.’

The idea for Boris to visit the school came after parent Julie Riggott was talking to her daughter about the coding she had learnt.

Julie, a consultant for 360Globalnet in Portsmouth, which takes care of Boris, said: ‘We wanted to show them that if they find something they love at school then it could take them on to a career.

‘It would be fantastic if they were inspired by the robot.’

The interactive, multilingual robot gave pupils a chance to show off their coding skills.

Julie added: ‘For the younger children we let them change his colour and make him move.

‘But for Years 5 and 6 we set tasks for them to do including programming a sentence and moving for him.’

The whole school has been learning coding this half-term from reception through to Year 6. Mr Marshallsay said: ‘This is on a different level but it shows them where coding can take them.’

The children were given the chance to ask Boris questions including how old he is, what is his birthday and what he ate for breakfast.

Nursery pupil Harriet Thomson said: ‘He said that he ate toasted metal and oil for breakfast.’

Four-year-old Florence Highnam said: ‘It was great to have Boris here.’

Usually seen at conferences and conventions, Portsmouth High Junior was the first school to welcome Boris.

Julie said: ‘This is the first time that he has gone into a school he is normally sent all over the world.’

‘He is unique and great for the children to see.’

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