When they join the LEGO robotics team, she becomes an active team parent.
LEGO Robotics. This new found hobby becomes a passion for all of them. She shifts her gears to a rookie coach
Today she teaches students in her 3400 sq. ft academy and in 30 different public schools, with her strong team of staff and volunteers.
Yes, I am that LEGO Robotics Instructor.
I give Free training to more moms like me to become robotics coaches. Today, this army of robot moms teaches in almost 30 Duval county schools. These robot moms are the strong female STEM ambassadors to bring more girls and boys alike into STEM.
One such Grand Dad Mr.Ken Utting, volunteered his time to help his grandson Cannon’s FLL robotics team - Shiva Atomatrons. Through Coach Ken’s guidance and connection he developed with the team, helped the team win. Last year, Atomatrons won the highest score in qualifiers, Robot Design Award and earned their bid to the State Championship in Delray Beach. And they did it again.
Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of their year’s team has been their decision to use a programming language called Python. Python is a general purpose, text based, language used by many thousands of professional programmers. It is much harder to use, but provides a much more realistic programming environment for the kids. Today, the Shiva Atomatrons team with grade 5 to 8 students are using Python for extensive programming.
We all know, Robotics is a fast track to success. What most of us don’t know is that there are 80 million dollar college scholarships available for students who take part in Robotics competitions.
Thus Robotics is a rope to pull a generation up and out of poverty.
Robotics has the power to turn one’s life 180 degrees for good!
When I met Andrew Richardson he was 16 year old, who was repeating eighth grade for the third time, which was such a demeaning experience. He was a young man with no-confidence. He started acting out, in a way that was harmful. The decision was made for him to get therapy. While he was in therapy one of the staff members at Behavioral Therapy Center, who has seen the powerful impact of robotics in her own grandson’s life, recommended Andrew to the LEGO Robotics program. They were willing to offer sponsorship to Andrew to see if he liked it.
We can be the robotics coach guiding students to find their path!
Extrapolating the success of team SHIVA Atomatrons and Andrew Richardson, we want robotics to reach not just more students but ALL students. So we applied for grants and funding to provide robotics training to students in Title 1 schools. Last summer, almost 90 students from Title 1 school attended 1 week of robotics camp, free of cost for them, funded by the city of Jacksonville, in partnership with Communities in Schools of Jacksonville. It was a life changing experience for most students.
Our students are coming back as coaches to pay it forward. Team SHIVA Atomatrons and Andrew Richardson were my camp counselors sharing their joy of LEGO robotics education to 90 more students.
All that it needs is 1 caring and responsible adult with perseverance to change a child’s life. With technology being the inevitable need of the hour, adults taking up the role as a robotics coach can put the child's path to success on a fast track. Just like how being an active dance mom or a soccer dad doesn't need you to know, all the skills, being a robotics coach is easy too.
When you believe in a child and encourage them, they can change the world.
To quote inventor Dean Kamen, the founder of FIRST, ‘We are not using kids to build robots, but we are using robots to build kids’.
Robot building teaches perseverance, team work, problem solving, creative thinking, communication and collaboration
It is not just about building robots, it is about building people who will change the world!
I invite you all to be the driving force behind this movement of building an army of Robot builders.