A sculpture artist from Germany was spending her summer residency at Sculpture Space in Utica. She was looking for someone who could program a robot that would allow her sculpture to move "through space itself." But she wasn't expecting her robot programmers.. to be students.
"She wanted her sculpture to look like it was moving through space; like it was rotating and it wouldn't just do that by itself so she wanted someone to build the robot," says Erin Reilly, 8th grade student at Rome Catholic.
That's where 8th grade student Erin and 12th student Dominick came in.
"I had previously designed a robot meant for carrying so that was convenient because her sculpture board was about the same size as what our robot carried initially, we just had to expand it a little bit," says Dominick Provenzano, 12th grade student at Rome Catholic.
"Dominick built it but he didn't know the programming. So I came in and programmed it and it worked," says Erin.
Rome Catholic's technology teacher says robotics is a unique learning that truly sticks with students.
"The joy is the discovery. Building a tetrix robot and creating a program exhibited in Texas and around the world," says Sandra Engle, Rome Catholic technology teacher.
The artist, who's back in Germany, visited with Eyewitness News and says she still remembers how surprised she was when she met her computer programmers.
"My first thought was its really complicated, it's robotic. I will work with some robotic engineer and then you end up working with high school students," says Rachel De Joode, Artist Skyping from Berlin, Germany.
But Rachel says it was a pleasant surprise. The project was one that transcends age and geography.
"Me being from Berlin and visiting Utica and then its exhibited in Dallas. It was just like an amazing mix of people making something great happen," says Rachel.
"It's a brand new break through for sculpture to think that sculptures can move through space and to help an artist half way around the world fulfill a dream," says Sandra.
The technology teacher says Rome Catholic offers robotics classes to students as young as second grade to better prepare them for their futures.