Online Private Lessons

Online Private Lessons

One-on-One Online LEGO Robotics Tutoring

Work with The Robot Guy, Coach Vawter, or with one of our Robot Geniuses!

Personalized instruction tailored to your student’s skills and interests.

Troubleshooting for any LEGO Robot project your child is excited about.

60-minute sessions with flexible scheduling to fit your needs.

Post-session progress reports via email so you can track your student’s success.

Siblings and friends can participate in the sessions for free.

Highly qualified instructors from top universities and/or championship robotics teams.

No materials required except for a computer and a LEGO robot set.

Schedule with a Robot Genius

(our team of ultra-talented instructors)

Michael Vawter

Position: "The Robot Guy"

Michael was lead programmer, builder, tester, and handler for the MindStorm Troopers FIRST LEGO League (FLL) team, the first team ever to win 1st place Robot Performance at the FLL World Festival two years in a row. Michael was invited to serve as a Tech Judge at the World Festival the very next year, and has continued to serve as a judge for international, national, and state LEGO Robotics championships ever since. He has also mentored and coached teams that have gone on to win state and international championships of their own.

Michael has been featured in Popular Science Magazine, Columbus CEO Magazine and the National Gallery for Young Inventors. He published peer-reviewed psychophysics research at Denison University in 2011 and went on to earn a masters in entrepreneurship and innovation. 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.

Michael Vawter

"The Robot Guy"

Michael was lead programmer, builder, tester, and handler for the MindStorm Troopers FIRST LEGO League (FLL) team, the first team ever to win 1st place Robot Performance at the FLL […]

Ian Turner

Position: Virtual Robot Genius

Ian Turner is a Robotics and Mechanical Engineer studying at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. He was the head of mechanical design on his FRC team for 3 years and lead them as team president to the Houston World Championships in his senior year. Through FRC he has had the opportunity to work with younger kids helping them to cultivate their creativity and develop a passion for engineering. He is also an Eagle Scout and has had years of experience working with children, teaching them skills they can apply to their own lives. Engineering has been a core part of his life and he enjoys being able to share his passion with others.

Ian Turner

Virtual Robot Genius

Ian Turner is a Robotics and Mechanical Engineer studying at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. He was the head of mechanical design on his FRC team for 3 years […]

Sofia Ramirez

Position: Virtual Robot Genius

Sofia is an Industrial and Systems Engineering Student at Lehigh University. She has over a decade of experience in FIRST Robotics, competing in JFLL, FLL, FTC, and FRC competitions. Over the past fifteen years she has mentored in numerous capacities, including as a JFLL and FLL Team Mentor. As Captain of her FTC team for two years, she led her team to the Super-Regional and World levels of competition. Sofia pursued an information technology specialty where she built upon her FIRST coding experience to now know several programming languages. Additionally, she has three years’ experience as a Technology, Research, and Communication Fellow where she’s guided both individual and teams of students through the writing and design processes. Whether through casual conversations, school projects, competitions, or mentoring, Sofia has a passion for sharing about STEM and is inspirational in guiding young minds in their robotic quests.

Sofia Ramirez

Virtual Robot Genius

Sofia is an Industrial and Systems Engineering Student at Lehigh University. She has over a decade of experience in FIRST Robotics, competing in JFLL, FLL, FTC, and FRC competitions. Over […]

Melissa Ivie

Position: Virtual Robot Genius

Melissa is a candy-bar powered student at Utah State University dual majoring in Marketing and Computer Science. She has a passion for STEM education and has worked with inventions, maker clubs, electronics, and junk drawer robotics. She mentored the Utah BAPC First Lego League team and has been the recipient of several technical awards including national NCWIT and IJSHS. When not experimenting with robots, she spends her time Irish dancing, baking, and rock climbing.

Melissa Ivie

Virtual Robot Genius

Melissa is a candy-bar powered student at Utah State University dual majoring in Marketing and Computer Science. She has a passion for STEM education and has worked with inventions, maker clubs, […]

Sahithi Thumuluri

Position: Master Robot Genius

Sahithi has 7 years of FIRST robotics experience, 4 years on her High School FTC team called Moderately Confused and 3 in FLL. As a part of FLL team Robot Rights, Sahithi travelled to the Ohio State championships and World Festival many times. Her team was Global Innovation Semi-finalists in 2015 and Ohio State Champions in 2017. They even won a first place inspiration award at the FLL World Festival in 2017. Sahithi now competes on the FTC team Moderately Dangerous, and has led her team to the Ohio State Championship twice as Software Lead and Drive Coach. She teaches at Kumon as a math and reading instructor for ages 3-16 and volunteers with the Columbus Zoo summer camps. Sahithi has won awards through NUMATs gifted awards, the Verizon app challenge, and was named a Dean’s List Semi-finalist in 2020. She has taken STEM related classes in and out of school, and mentors multiple FLL teams. Sahithi is passionate and immensely excited to encourage young kids to experience the fun of robotics!

Sahithi Thumuluri

Master Robot Genius

Sahithi has 7 years of FIRST robotics experience, 4 years on her High School FTC team called Moderately Confused and 3 in FLL. As a part of FLL team Robot […]

Javier Ramirez

Position: Virtual Robot Genius

Javier experienced each level of FIRST robotics over the last twelve years. He began by building a motorized centrifuge out of Legos to demonstrate an existing technology for his first Junior FLL competition, progressed through FLL, and finally spent the last six years on his FTC team, the Disgruntled Robots. Javier and his FTC team won various awards along the way and competed at the World Championships twice. His passion for mechanical engineering began with the centrifuge for his first JFLL tournament. At that time, he learned and followed the engineering process. As a process-oriented individual, he continued to grow his passion for applying that process to solving problems in life and robotics. Javier understands the value of teaching STEM, engineering and robotics to youth. He has consistently mentored younger robotics teams, as well as, at-risk youth in the community. Javier is a senior at Akins High school and will study Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas in the fall.

Javier Ramirez

Virtual Robot Genius

Javier experienced each level of FIRST robotics over the last twelve years. He began by building a motorized centrifuge out of Legos to demonstrate an existing technology for his first […]

Soham Joshi

Position: Master Robot Genius

Soham first learned about Robot Academy when he attended as a student many years ago. He was a member of Robot Academy’s FLL team in 2017, and helped the team to win many awards including the Global Innovation award (which recognizes the top 20 invention projects in the world for FLL). He has since created a team of his own and won the innovative solution award at the Ohio State championship. He has won awards through E-cybermisison and Exploravision as well, and has a passion for inventing. He has been working at Robot Academy for 2 years, and enjoys teaching about all the things he’s learned.

Soham Joshi

Master Robot Genius

Soham first learned about Robot Academy when he attended as a student many years ago. He was a member of Robot Academy’s FLL team in 2017, and helped the team […]

Sriram Mukund

Position: Robot Genius

Sriram is a Computer Science major at the University of Connecticut and has been a Lead Instructor at both Kumon and CodeNinjas, teaching kids ages 6-16. Sriram has lead summer camps for students in both video game design as well as drone programming and he has a passion for legos and computer science. He has been building with Lego Robots for the past 7 years and has brought various Lego Robots to his high school invention showcase and has won awards for his creations. He has created apps as well as AWS websites and is an experienced programmer in languages such as Python, Java, and C. In his spare time, Sriram loves to play the drum set and learn new programming languages. Sriram loves to work with kids and is excited to help instill a life long passion for STEM!

Sriram Mukund

Robot Genius

Sriram is a Computer Science major at the University of Connecticut and has been a Lead Instructor at both Kumon and CodeNinjas, teaching kids ages 6-16. Sriram has lead summer […]

Schedule with "The Robot Guy"
or Coach Vawter

Michael Vawter

"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.

Gail Vawter

Director of Operations, Robot Academy

Gail Vawter 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). As a teacher and coach of student science teams, she has won numerous national and global awards with FIRST Lego League (FLL), NSTA/Toshiba ExploraVision, Christopher Columbus Awards, NASA Space Day, US Army’s eCybermission, National Gallery for Young Inventors, and more. Her team’s accomplishments have been recognized by the Ohio Senate and Ohio House of Representatives.