Wa Wa Wa! The Baby Project

Wa Wa Wa! The Baby Project

Emily Cooper ’11
Business Manager

“Baby” weighs six to eight pounds and measures approximately 20 inches. Though, the resemblances to a human child do not end here. The robotic baby can cry throughout the entire night, and requires multiple diaper changes. For one weekend, students at Weston and Trumbull High Schools annually step into the role of a teenage parent and learn about the difficulties of parenting a child through having to care for their very own robotic child.

With settings ranging from “calm” to “colicky,” students participating in the baby program are given a key that must be inserted into the baby’s mouth to quiet it when it is crying. In fact, there is no way to avoid caring for the baby; he or she houses an internal computer which automatically records the time taken to quiet it when it cries and any physical abuse, such as hitting or beating it.

The baby program was established to further educate teenagers about the perils of teenage pregnancy. Weston High School, a school which participates in the Baby Program, has incorporated the robotic baby into its health curriculum.

Students who have participated in the program were initially anxious about caring for “Baby,” but found that after the program, they actually enjoyed the experience.

“At first, I was incredibly nervous about the whole project; everyone had talked about how it was the worst weekend of your high school career and I prepared myself for the worst. It was pretty funny bringing the baby out in public. We had people asking to take pictures with it,” said Ben Kamisar ’09, Weston High School.

Participants in the program also felt differently about teenage pregnancy after participating in the program.

“I learned a lot about how difficult it is to care for something that is totally dependent on you. You have to learn to sleep when the baby sleeps, or else you will never be able to get to sleep,” said Kamisar,

Yet, Staples High School does not currently have the baby program.

“At one point in time, Staples did have the Baby Program. But, for some reason, we did away with it,” said David Gusitch, Head of the Health Department.

Instead, the Staples Health Department teaches students about the dangers of teenage pregnancy by highlighting the results of poor decision making.

“We talk about developing safe relationships and also measures to prevent drug use and teenage pregnancy,” said Gusitch.

Kamisar feels that the Baby Program is a far more effective way of learning about the dangers of teenage pregnancy rather than a lecture.

“You can put high school seniors in a health room and proselytize about the dangers of teen pregnancy all you want, but really, by senior year, they have heard it all. True learning comes from experience and I think high school seniors can learn a lot from the baby project,” said Kamisar.