UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan- Creativity meets construction and code at Robofun! “I like the stuff that we do here and I’m really good at it because I’ve been here like 50 times," Harry, one of the students, smiled. “[This is fun] because you get to build legos and you don’t normally get to that in class," Gabrielle added. Learning with LEGOs is giving these little ones a leg up and a lifetime of lessons. The tech program, which has reached more than 10,000 New York children, is the brainchild of Laura Allen.
“Children innately have a love of learning and our job is to find out how to put the pieces in place to keep them learning and loving to learn," she said. As a longtime educator and mother, she believes education should come in many form to best fulfill individual needs. “With programs like this they get fantastic experiences [but] then they’re stuffed back into school like a sausage into sitting in rows and desks so I think we need to reconsider the whole thing," Allen explained.
Robofun emphasizes hands-on problem solving and project-based learning. “Kids learn the most when they are really passionate about what they’re making and building," Allen said. Kids of all ages are taught how to build robots, create stop motion animation and design video games. It’s all about setting a goal and finding unique ways of accomplishing it. "How does it make you feel when you do this?" I asked Lucas, one of the students. "Very proud of myself," he replied.
Robofun offers after-school programs, weekly and summer camps.
Produced by: Kim Pestalozzi