LOS ANGELES, CA – A life-sized robot named CODE-E has its sights set on inspiring students by bringing tech to life in the classroom.

  • CODE-E life-size robot bringing tech to life in classroom
  • PwC study says by 2020, 77 percent of jobs will require tech skills
  • Robot's goal is to prepare students for the future

"You want to hear me sing," CODE-E asks students at NEW Academy Canoga Park before launching into a rendition of "Singin' in the Rain."

CODE-E is being brought into schools by the company PricewaterhouseCoopers. PwC hopes it will help get students excited about technology. 

Music teacher Genein Letford is helping PwC test the robot and develop a curriculum for kids as young as kindergarten. CODE-E isn’t here to replace her, but the robot and Letford do have the same job: to prepare students for the future. 

“Making sure that kids understand that technology is an integral part of their life and they actually can be not just consumers of technology but producers as well," said Letford. She says this is especially important for "our young girls and our young students of color who might not have access to this type of thinking.”

During CODE-E's visit, fifth graders were asked to brainstorm ways technology can be used to solve a problem.  

Isabella Gontes, 10, and her team of classmates pitched an idea for a voice-activated door opener to help improve accessibility.  She also came up a with a few ways she would like robots to help her, like “drive a car to take me to school," Gontes said.

Maybe Gontes will invent that technology one day because as Letford points out, today’s innovators were once fifth graders themselves. A 2018 study by PwC determined that by 2020, 77 percent of all jobs will require some kind of tech skills.  

As an educator, Letford says "it’s critical to make sure you are there to give them the tools for them to be who they are able to be.”

Creating future technology could be as simple as exposing students to something that sparks their imagination and makes a lasting impression. In that case, CODE-E, mission accomplished.