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One-on-One Online LEGO Robotics Tutoring
Work with The Robot Guy, or with one of our Robot Geniuses!
Victor is a 3rd year Mechanical Engineering student at The Ohio State University. He plans to graduate with a Minor in Robotics and Autonomous Systems and work in the aerospace field. The design and creation of rockets, high speed planes, and satellites captivate his interest, and he plans on bringing forth his skills to work on these complex pieces of technology in the future. Outside of class, he enjoys weightlifting, reading, playing guitar, and spending time with friends.
Klay is a Senior at the Ohio State University studying Computer Science and Industrial Design. LEGOs is his favorite toy and he loves making car replicas with LEGOs as a hobby and has a large collection of them. He has extensive experience with Robot Academy teaching students online and in-person at after-school classes and camps around Columbus. Klay teaches Scratch and Python programming with the mBot2. Arduino LEGO Robot 1 and Arduino LEGO Robot 2.
Melinda is a senior at The Ohio State University. She is majoring in Mechanical Engineering with minors in Design and Art History. She loves using engineering skills to be creative and solve problems. She especially enjoys Computer Aided Design and prototype fabrication, because this is where you see ideas start to come to life. She has done a variety of projects in her college experience, from designing board games, to building Arduino projects, to assisting with research about electric aircraft. She has experience teaching kids of all ages and is excited about the opportunity to share her passions and get more kids interested in STEM!
Stephen is a 4th year Chemical Engineering Student at The Ohio State University with extensive experience with LEGOs, Arduinos, and several different programming languages. He enjoys teaching children in a creative and fun learning environment. Musically talented, he is also a member of The Ohio State University Marching Band.
Michael Vawter (aka “The Robot Guy”) won 1st place out of 10,000 teams from 39 countries at the FIRST LEGO League robotics competition two years in a row, was inducted into the National Gallery for Young Inventors, and has published peer-reviewed vision science.
Michael’s passion for LEGO robotics began at the age of 9 when he got his first LEGO MINDSTORMS set. He built a robot that turned off his bedroom lights automatically, which saved him from getting in trouble for leaving them on. As a middle schooler, Michael was lead programmer, builder, tester, and handler for the MindStorm Troopers FIRST LEGO League (FLL) team. They competed for four years, becoming the first (and only?) team to win 1st place Robot Performance at the FLL World Festival two years in a row. Michael later co-founded the Robot Academy and has taught thousands of students how to master LEGO robotics. He’s been featured in Popular Science Magazine, and was on TV with Bill Nye the Science Guy.
Michael graduated from Denison University in 2014 and went on to earn a master’s degree in entrepreneurship and innovation from Seton Hill. He has continued to contribute to the FLL community by serving as a judge and referee at the state and world level. He has also coached and mentored teams of his own (some of whom have won international titles of their own). In his ongoing career as a robotics teacher, Michael helps students and teachers to analyze and solve technological problems more creatively by integrating their right-brain and left-brain capacities.
David is a Mechanical Engineering Senior at George Fox University. All throughout grade school, he participated in First Lego League as both a team leader and later in high school and college as an Assistant Coach. When not working on School work or helping with LEGO robotics, David works as a Lab Technician in the Prototype Lab where he helps train new students how to use the 3D printers and other machines in the lab. David is a huge Star Wars fan with fond memories of building Lego sets with his dad and play Lego Star Wars games for the first time. This love of Star Wars has led to many projects using Arduinos and Lego EV3s based around the franchise (Lego R2D2 was a more recent one). In general, he loves teaching students the fun side of Engineering and how to look at the world through an engineering mindset and is excited to share his experience in Lego robotics and engineering with students at Robot Academy.
Gail enjoys mentoring Invention and Robotics competitions. She is the Co-founder and Owner of Robot Academy. She holds degrees in Computer Science and Economics from Denison University, as well as an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University. She has worked in the Information Technology industry for over 20 years, but her passion is for helping young students to get excited about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). She is a partner of Ohio Girl Scouts and speaks to organizations about Success with Girls and STEM. As a teacher and coach of student science teams, her teams placed first and second place on a National (and International) level numerous times as well as placing National Finalists with various Invention Competitions: US Army’s eCybermission (3 times), FIRST’s Global Innovation Awards (2 times), NSTA/Toshiba ExploraVision, National Inventors Hall of Fame, NASA’s Space Day (2 times) and FIRST Lego League (2 times). Her team’s accomplishments have been recognized by the Ohio Senate and Ohio House of Representatives. We incorporate this knowledge into our curriculum and help kids design brilliant inventions for a fun virtual invention competition or mock shark tank at camps. Robot Academy teaches online and in-person LEGO Robotics for Arduino and LEGO MINDSTORMS. We also sell our curriculum to schools to inspire the young students about STEM. It is a blast.
"Robot Guy" / Tech Director, Robot Academy
Michael Vawter was lead programmer, builder, tester, and handler for the MindStorm Troopers FIRST LEGO League (FLL) team. They competed for four years, becoming the first team to win 1st place Robot Performance at the FLL World Festival two years in a row. Michael co-founded the Robot Academy and has taught thousands of students how to master LEGO robotics. He’s been featured in Popular Science Magazine, was on TV with Bill Nye the Science Guy, and was inducted into the National Gallery for Young Inventors. He published peer-reviewed psychophysics research at Denison University in 2011 and went on to earn a master’s degree in entrepreneurship and innovation.
Michael has continued to contribute to the FLL community by serving as a judge and referee at the state and world level. He has also coached and mentored teams of his own (some of whom have won international titles of their own).
In his ongoing career as a robotics teacher, Michael helps students and teachers to analyze and solve technological problems more creatively by integrating their right-brain and left-brain capacities.