Robot backs United Nations International Day of Peace
People have already advocated a bill of rights for robots; there is even an American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Robots which claims that robots are people too (or at least they will be some day). This year is the 30th anniversary of the UN General Assembly’s Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace. They designated the 21st of September as the Day of Peace. This prompted Roamer to take integration of human robot society one step further by signing the EU’s Pledge to Peace. This is not just a petition, but a call to action, and in this case the action will take place in a school in the Eternal City of Rome. The Convitto Nazionale “Vittorio Emanuele II”, who with United World College in Norway were the first schools to sign the Pledge, have formed a partnership with Valiant Technology to create STEM based activities which make the students think about the issues of peace.
With the enthusiastic support of the Hon Gianni Pittella (first Vice President of the European Parliament) and the late Emilio Colombo the Pledge to Peace was created at the European Parliament, with the Brussels Declaration on 28 November 2011. Its signatories are institutions, organizations, schools and companies who pledge to put in place projects and actions promoting a culture of peace. The Pledge to Peace is inspired by the universal ideals of human dignity, freedom, equality and solidarity enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
Valiant CEO and Roamer designer Dave, Catlin stated,
Valiant’s co-founder the late Professor Tom Stonier was a strong advocate of peace. He founded the Peace Studies course at Manhattan College in New York.
At first you think how can a robot help with peace? Well peace is not to be found in a peace treaty. Peace starts with individual people being at peace with themselves. It is about citizenship; it is about the fulfilment of our human potential. Practically, helping students with these issues is what Roamer does well.
Dave discovered that the Convitto Nazionale which works with children of both genders ages 6 to 18, had signed the Pledge on its inauguration.
Jeff Segel, the teacher in charge of the Convitto’s Pledge to Peace programme said,
When Dave Catlin first contacted me I was curious. I really just did not see how this might work. But when he explained some possibilities I started seeing huge potential, just to engage students into thinking and discussing the issues that contribute to peace. Then, I started to realise how at the same time we could use this to help students with mathematics, science and many other subjects, I became enthusiastic. I am eager to work with colleagues and students to explore some of the possibilities.
Working together the partners will create a series of activities which will help teachers deliver the syllabus, while encouraging the development of a student’s sense of citizenship and acquisition of the sustainable learning skills that are so important in their personal growth. All these activities will be available in the Roamer Activity Library, available free of charge to all Roamer users.
The development of these values and lifelong learning skills reflect the fundamental aims of the school. The Convitto Nazionale’s new Rector-Principle Prof. Paolo M. Reale pointed out,
This project is based on our traditional values, supports our important Pledge to Peace efforts and introduces some exciting technology into the school.
Another member of staff, Ms Mariarosa Mortillaro, the teacher in charge of the Convitto’s status as a UNESCO Associated School felt the project would contribute to her efforts in this programme.
The signing ceremony gave us pause to reflect on the importance of educators.
Everyone can remember teachers that made a huge difference in their lives. And I know many teachers who are immensely proud of what their students go on to achieve. I often meet people who remember with great fondness using the Turtle or Classic Roamer in the 80s and 90s. This is another day and another generation and our hope is that Roamer will help these students achieve fulfilling lives, lived in an atmosphere of peace.
By signing the Pledge to Peace Valiant Technology and Roamer strives to develop, in collaboration with the Convitto Nazionale and the Secretariat of the Pledge, a project of peace education directed to schools that have signed the Brussels Declaration.
Your School can Sign the Pledge to Peace Now!
Why not join the Pledge to Peace now. You are welcome to send us Roamer activities that help or you can do a completely different project. The important thing is to do something and that starts with signing the Pledge.