Online Private Lessons
One-on-One Online LEGO Robotics Tutoring
Work with The Robot Guy, or with one of our Robot Geniuses!
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.
Jackie is a senior at the Ohio State University, majoring in Computer Science Engineering with minors in Math and Chinese. Jackie has been building LEGOs since elementary school, mostly Star Wars and Lego city. Jackie has extensive experience with Robot Academy teaching students during after-school classes and in-person camps around Columbus.
Jacob English is a Mechanical Engineering Student at The Ohio State University with extensive experience teaching robotics to young students. As a STEM Exploration and Engagement Scholar, he enjoys working with several Makeblock robots: mBot, mBot2 and xLight. He is a member of The Ohio State University Marching Band.
Camden Sullivan is an experienced Robot Academy instructor specializing in Scratch programming and LEGO add-ons for Makeblock robots. He grew up with a love for LEGO and engineering, and is an Electrical Engineering student at The Ohio State University in his fourth year. Camden finds challenging problem-solving experiences to be engaging and fun, especially with a team. He enjoys teaching and helping kids build their confidence in STEM.
Keaton is an Electrical Engineering student at Case Western Reserve University, currently in his Senior year. His love of
LEGOs growing up heavily influenced his choice of major. He enjoys working with Arduinos in
both circuits and robotics labs at CWRU, where he is also a pitcher on the CWRU baseball team.
He loves to mentor younger students and is an assistant coach for The Rawlings Tigers 17U
baseball team in Westerville. A big Star Wars fan, Keaton’s favorite LEGO sets to construct
were the Sandcrawler and the Ewok Village. He enjoys sharing his experience and interest in
robotics and LEGOs with the students participating in the Robotics Summer Camps and online!
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.