Ben HaywardMay 31st
2020

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect every aspect of people’s lives, a high school in the US came up with an innovative way of delivering its diplomas… 

Students graduating from Somerset Island Prep charter high school in Key West, Florida, maintained social distancing measures by collecting high school certificates from their principal using jet skis.

Taking to the seas, each individual student rode up to the principal, who had been stationed on a boat - with an extended ‘grabber’ to hand out the diplomas while maintaining appropriate distance. Genius.

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The students donned their traditional gown and graduation cap and - of course - face masks, as well as life vests that were covered by the long robes.

"This final ceremony for our seniors represents the same theme that has played out throughout the entirety of their time at Island Prep: that no barrier is too large to overcome and that through creativity and hard work we can overcome any challenge," Tom Rompella, the principal of the school, said in a statement.

But of course, students all around the world are missing out on the traditional graduation ceremony they'd been working towards as large public gatherings remain banned in many places to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

As a result, many other institutions have had to get equally creative as they strive to give graduating students the send off they deserve.

The Business Breakthrough University in Japan went all futuristic, using ‘newme' robots for its ceremony, which was held at the Hotel Grand Palace in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, last month.

The robots - dressed in caps and gowns - were controlled remotely by students, with each of them appearing on a small screen via video link where the robot’s ‘face’ should be.

However, it was only four students who used the robots to collect their certificates - the rest opted for the slightly less exciting option of taking part in the ceremony via Zoom.

The idea came from Professor Shugo Yanaka, Dean of Global Business Administration at the university who said: "While new coronavirus measures are required, the introduction of avatars can realise a warm online graduation ceremony.

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“We hope this initiative will be helpful to educational institutions who are having difficulty holding graduation ceremonies and entrance ceremonies."

One of the students added: "When I enrolled, I never thought I would operate an avatar to attend the graduation ceremony.”

I mean, universities in Brighton, Exeter, Dartmouth - the jet ski thing could work right?

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