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June 2015 Saturday Schedule

10 A.M. to 1 P.M.

Handwriting vs. typing:  does the writing tool influence our spelling?  

More and more frequently, children are using computers as a routine tool for writing. Researchers have identified stages of spelling that children move through as they become progressively more proficient as spellers. Does the tool they use make a difference in how they spell? Is there a difference in the level of spelling development when a child handwrites or types?  

This study will analyze children’s spelling, and whether there is a difference between handwritten words and ones typed on a computer keyboard. Results of the study will help educators better understand the role that tools play in children’s ability to spell.

This study is a collaboration between Dr. Kathryn Pole (, assistant professor at the University of Texas at Arlington, and the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.

1 to 4 P.M.

Interactions with a robot:  meet Zeno!


UT Arlington Electrical Engineering Professor Dr. Dan Popa and his Next Generation Group conduct research on new and improved multiscale robots that are increasingly small, integrated, and networked.  Dr. Popa and his team work to design and produce robots that are inexpensive, user-friendly, and interactive.

Zeno, a two-foot tall, child-like robot, was built to function as a human-robot interactive system with the goal of assisting with the diagnoses of early stage Autism Spectrum Disorder in children. Zeno is able to mimic the actions and facial expressions of individuals who stand in front of an Xbox Kinect.  As the robot smiles, blinks, and waves at participants, he can both diagnose social skill needs and provide training for social skill deficits. 

This study is a collaboration between the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, Dr. Dan Popa, and Dr. Indika Wijayasinghe.  Dr. Popa is associate professor of electrical engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington, where he heads the Next Generation Systems research group.  Read more at or at







Fun Fact
The full length feature films over on the Quick Turn Reel Unit, added in Sept. 2005, can hold a two and a half hour movie, weighing in at over 700 pounds and stretching over 9 miles long!

Omni Films callout

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