Iman’s room is filled with sketches, clay, crayons, pencils, and broken toys all over the floor, he is building his latest creation Rio. “...And then you're gonna roll around on the ground, the dirt, the floor, and fly! Awe Rio Just you wait! You’re gonna be the best robot ever!” Iman yelled with excitement. Rio is no ordinary robot as Iman tells his mother Olivia, Rio is the future he proclaims. Unlike his other toys, Rio is a special robot whose duty is to be a helper in everyday activities and be playful. It will be the next best thing for kids in Philadelphia.
Iman's mind is so beyond his age, all he wants to do is create and build things. His model of Rio is made out of clay, it has a round shaped head, cylinder body, painted black and white, and the eyes are painted pink too, Rio always look excited for anything. He has so many stories about Rio, well how he gets in trouble with Rio since he takes her everywhere he goes. As Iman does the finishing touches painting her body and eyes, he takes a step back and says, “There you go! All done, now you look like a newer model, wait until mom sees you, she's gonna love your new look.” he smiles. An indistinct sound of yelling was coming from out of his room, he looked up and heard it but he shrugged his shoulders and continued to play with Rio. The sound gets closer and closer and then suddenly Iman's mother burst into the room.
“Iman! Do you hear me calling you? Now come on you have to get ready for school.” she said frustrated. “Sorry Mommy, I was working on Rio, look at her, doesn't she look better Mommy?” Iman's mother looks around his room with disapproval, everything was on the floor with paper, crayons and toys. “Iman why is your room like this? I told you about this room now, I'm not gonna keep repeating myself ya hear?'' she demanded. Iman gathered his books and school supplies into his book bag.
“Sorry Mommy, I was just drawing sketches of R-”
“Of Rio?” She interrupts.
“Yeah, Rio, Rio, Rio. That's all you talk about, if Rio was real she'll be on punishment just like you, now lets see this 'newer' model of Rio.”
Iman hands Rio to his mother, she looks at it closely as she twirled it around and grinned.
“Wow, she does look a little better. You’re quite the builder aren't you?”
“But where did you get paint from? We don't have paint here.”
“Yes we do Mommy, your nail polish.”
“Iman!” she screams.
“I can't deal with you right now I can't, stay out of my room! Let's go before you're late for school. It's almost eight o’clock.”
Iman and his mother head out of their Nicetown Apartment and get into her car. She tries to start it but it isn’t working. “Oh no not again, not right now, come on.” She sighed and flopped back into her seat. “Mommy Rio can help.” She turns around slowly to Iman. “What can a clay figure do to help me with my car Iman? It’s not even real.” She gets irritated. “Mommy, here.” He hands Rio from the back seat. She grabs the toy and looks at it, “I can’t believe I’m doing this right now.” She muttered. She gives Rio a mean stare into her painted smiled eyes as if they both were really looking at each other. “Rio if you don’t start my car right now I’m going to ground both of you.” She started the car again and it began to work. Iman screams of joy “See Mommy! I told you Rio is helpful.” Iman’s mom looks at the toy with disbelief, “Man, that jawn was pure luck, come on let’s go.” They drive off into the street and go to Iman’s school.
As she drives down to get to Clearfield Street, she turns on the radio of her favorite station called 822.9FM with The Nelson Twins Show where they talk about upcoming events in Philadelphia and new music. She turns up the volume.
“What’s going guys I’m Ke!”
“And I’m Ree!”
“And you are now listening to The Nelson Twins! On 822.9FM.”
Pressed noises come through the speakers.
“Today we have a special guest on our show today, a person we’ve been dying to meet, she’s a boss lady billionaire and CEO of the Philadelphia Roslyn Robotics Team and she is here to give us the scoop on her newest project her team put together. Ree could you be a pal and introduce our very, very, very special person?” Ke said.
“I sure can Ke, everyone I want to welcome you Viola Roslyn!” Ree shouts.
“Thanks for having me guys, I’m really a fan of the show.”
“We definitely appreciate it, me and Ree are actually big fans of you too. We watched your recent video on YouTube of you creating a robot tiger was it?” Ke curiously asks.
Viola laughs. “Yes, well I’ve tried to and it had a few flaws if some of you watched the end of the video. This is why our team goes back to the drawing board and creates better mechanics.”
“Tell us about your upcoming project, I didn’t get a chance to hear the whole announcement on IGTV.” Says Ree.
“Well our team spoke with one another and decided to get in touch with a couple of schools and speak to the kids about Robotic Engineering. What we’re gonna do is have the kids sketch us their model of the robot and hopefully we can create it in real life for them to see.”
“And I do believe that you're giving the kids full scholarship correct?” Ke asks.
“Yes that is correct. And don’t forget that once we decide from the sketches or other models of the robot, we are going to team up with some companies as well and find a way to sell them in stores. So the money goes back to the families.”
“Hay yo!” Ke and Ree yells at the same time.
“So you’re telling me that not only do the kids get a scholarship, but they also get to see their real life robots in stores? That is crazy Viola, what made you want to do this?” Ree asks.
“Just giving back to my community that’s all. I grew up here so anything for the kids I’m willing to help them. I’m going back to my old school, it’s gonna be exciting.” Viola said cheerfully.
“I can’t wait to see what the kids are going to draw, it’s gonna be some crazy sketches.” Ke says.
“Alright you guys stay tuned for more! We are going to announce the schools that Viola and her team picked to visit, will be right back after the commercial break, this is The Nelson Twins live at 822.9FM radio.”
Iman’s mother turns to another station to listen to music, “Well we know she won’t be coming to your school, it will be hard to believe she went to Whittier.” She drops Iman off to school on Clearfield Street and pulls up in front of John GreenLeaf Whittier Elementary School. The teachers hold the door for the kids to get inside, Iman’s teacher Mrs. Smith waits for him to get his things. “Now don’t be giving Mrs. Smith a hard time again. If I hear you making trouble with that toy one more time I’m taking it from, you hear me?” She points his finger at him. “Yes, Mommy.” He gets out of the car. “Have a good day okay, I’ll be here to pick you up. I love you. Hello Mrs. Smith!” She waves.
“Sorry! We were running late.”
“That’s quite alright, today is a special day I’m sure Iman will enjoy. Ms. Olivia? I sure hope you’re not late yourself.” Mrs. Smith said concerned. She looks at her phone, it's eight fifteen.
“Shoot! I gotta go, thank you again Mrs. Smith! Bye baby!” Olivia drives away. “Bye Mommy!” They waved goodbye.
Mrs. Smith and Iman walked inside the school with all the other children, they walked upstairs to the second floor to classroom A103. The kids hung up their jackets and book bags and sat in their assigned seats with name tags, and waited for Mrs. Smith's instructions. “Hey Iman, did you find a way to make Rio fly yet?” Ivan scoots his desk over to Iman’s. Iman and Ivan are best friends, they do everything together like brothers, he has quite the toy himself, he calls his toy Striker that he too gets in trouble with. Chestnut wooden figure of a man with thumbtacks for antennas, and a draw-on mean look on its face from a marker. Striker is a ninja robot ready to strike at any time.
“No, not yet. I don't know what can make her fly.” He sighs.
Iman looks around the wide classroom, he looks at his classmates and he sees two girls from his right, Porsha and Terry, taking out food from plastic bags to throw away. Iman taps Ivan on the shoulder, “We can use the bags Porsha and Terry got.” He suggested. “Oh yeah.” Ivan says, “But how can we get it to fly?” Iman leans in closer to Ivan to whisper in his ear. “The stairwell.” Ivan and Iman both giggled. The classroom chatter became quieter. Iman walks to the front near the trash can and picks up the bags and hands Ivan one, “When it’s lunchtime, we’re gonna drop them to see how far it goes.” Iman and Ivan both agreed. “Okay children, get out your books and lets get started.”
The bell rang for lunch time, Iman and Ivan stalled behind the children, tying up bags to their toys and speed walked down the halls to the stairwells. “Come along children, walk in two straight lines down the stairs.” Mrs. Smith escorts the children, Iman and Ivan looked down the second floor staircase with toys ready to fly. “Alright Ivan you ready?” Iman looks to Ivan. “On three.” They counted to three and dropped the toys. The teachers and students were startled by the mysterious toys flying down the stairs. “Ms. Roslyn, so glad you can join us. I’m sure the kids will be happy to see you.” Principal Jones opens the door for Ms. Roslyn as the children walk by her. “Ouch!” Ms. Roslyn screams. A toy hits her on top of her head, and the other passes her shoulder, everyone looks up to the stairs. Ms. Roslyn picks up smiling Rio and the principal picks up mean-faced Striker. “Iman!” Mrs. Smith yells. “Ivan!” Principal Jones yells. “Uh, oh.” Iman and Ivan look down at them. They were shortly sent to the office.
Iman and Ivan's mothers were called and were asked to come up to the school. Olivia and Ivan’s mother Kandice apologizes to Viola for the kids trouble making as Principal Jones tries to come up with a reasonable punishment for the two. Through all the commotion of the children, Roslyn couldn’t help but to look at these toys, she was fascinated by the boys imagination and creativity put into the toys. It reminded her of herself.
“Is this your toy Ivan? Striker?”
“Yes, he’s like a robot ninja that fights crime.”
“So cool Ivan, very cool.” She smiles. “And yours was Rio, right Iman? What do your toy do?”
“Rio can do lots of things, she helped Mommy’s car. All you have to do is say hello to it and do things like a robot.”
Roslyn knew at this moment that these boys were the best selections of her project, the mothers would be astonished that she picked them but it would soon work out in their favor. Rosyln picked up Rio and stared into her painted smiled eyes. “Hello, Rio.”