PARIS, Texas – Paris Regional Medical Center is excited to congratulate the students of Aikin Elementary School on winning the Name Our Robot competition and giving their robot her long-awaited name, Mira.
In March, PRMC launched their first-ever competition to find a creative name for their new da Vinci Xi robot, which serves as a robotic assistant for minimally-invasive surgery. The competition was open to all Lamar County elementary schools, and the hospital received two submissions, both from Paris ISD schools, Aikin Elementary and Justiss Elementary. PRMC asked the campuses to work collaboratively within their art class time to create a replica robot with whatever materials they had, include an explanation of their design concept, and describe how they came up with their robot’s name. The replicas were then put on display in the PRMC lobby for one week, during which PRMC staff members could browse and cast their vote for their favorite.
Justiss students, led by Art Teacher Jennifer Hamm, drew inspiration from Leonardo da Vinci’s bone art, naming their robot “Leonardo da Vinci.” While not as well known as the Mona Lisa, da Vinci has many pieces of art that involve drawings of bones, which the students found fitting for a competition centered around the da Vinci Xi robot that assists with surgery. Leonardo even had replica bones of his own that the students made through the paper mache technique.
Art Teacher Cheri Lewis worked with Aikin students to develop what became Mira (pronounced my-ruh), a robot made entirely of traditional art supplies whose name is an acronym for Minimally Invasive Robotic Assistance. When said aloud, the students chose the name Mira for its relatable nature, Texas twang. Also, in Spanish roots, the word means “sight,” which the students said was “fitting as it gives us insight into what the world of technology is capable of, and how the future of medicine is exciting due to continued advancements in research.”
While the winning school receives a $1,000 prize for their art program, Lewis and Hamm said they chatted when the contest was announced and decided that if either of their schools won, they would split the prize money so that all PISD elementary students would benefit.
“Instilling the love of the arts in students is not only my mission and focus but also the mission of Paris ISD,” Lewis said. “We want our students to express themselves in the art without stressing about the outcomes of their work. Our goal as a district is to always do what is best for our students, and by sharing the outcome, we know we are supporting ALL of our students and each other as teachers.”
Hamm echoed the value of teamwork with a shared mission.
“It’s a pleasure to work for a district that values art,” she said. “Cheri and I love working together as elementary art teachers. We love to see our kids experience and grow in art. The prize money being offered was so generous that we both knew it would make a difference in both of our programs. We easily decided to share the winnings if either of us won, and we appreciate PRMC for providing a contest that supports art for children.”
Several students (pictured) from each school and their art teachers got to visit the hospital, meet several members of the leadership team, and have a Q&A session with General Surgeon Dr. Andrew Fraser. He utilizes the robot regularly at PRMC.
Paris Regional Medical Center is proud to bring the most advanced technology available for robotic-assisted surgeries to Paris and its surrounding service area. To learn more about robotic-assisted surgery at Paris Regional Medical Center and keep up with Mira’s life-changing work, visit ParisRegionalMedical.com/Robotics. To find a provider, call 903.737.3232.