Saturday, December 10, 2005

Inconvenient Robot Babies Teach Birth Control

High-tech baby simulators give Fairfax County students a taste of being a young parent.
by Brian McNeill

"It's just way too much responsibility," said Cardenas, a student at Annandale High School who had to take time off from her part-time job at Lake Accotink to care for a robotic infant.
"You can't do the things you want to do, people stare at you wherever you go," she said. "It's just hard. I can't even take care of myself right now. How am I going to take care of a baby?"

Cardenas is one of 29 young women enrolled in Annandale's Parenting and Child Development class, which uses the simulators — called "Baby Think It Over" — to give a realistic taste of parenthood.

The simulators, which are realistic in both weight and appearance, emit recorded infant sounds when they are hungry, need to be changed, sleeping, or simply being fussy.
The simulators, which weigh between 6 and 8 pounds, record just about everything. If a student fails to support the baby's head when picking it up, it will take note of the improper handling. If the student drops the simulator, the teacher will know come grade time.

The simulators, designed by the Wisconsin-based company Realityworks, cost the school system $422 a piece. They are intended to show the importance of family and to portray potentially unromantic consequences of sex.
Now through December 31st, receive $100 for each older model Baby you trade in toward the purchase of a new RealCare Baby II!
"The students take the babies home over the weekend and have to provide it with around-the-clock care," said Sandy Thompson, a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher at Annandale. "At the end of the weekend, they're all tired because none of the girls got any sleep. I tell them, 'How would you like to deal with this for three years? You've only had it for three days."
"These kids need to see that children are not convenient," she said.

PRIOR TO THE USE of the robot baby simulators, Fairfax County teachers had students care for either a sack of flour or an egg.

Robot Babies Teach Teens Childcare - The County Line - Connection Newspapers


Blogger angela said...

These babies are designed to teach the people that how to care a baby since some people are expecting to have a baby but they don't have any knowledge about how to care a small infant baby so baby simulator is for practicing as well as learning parenting skills

4:47 AM, July 21, 2011  

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