About the Course
This course serves as an exciting hands-on introduction to the world of building and programming robots. Activities focus on honing critical thinking skills, perseverance and teamwork as students learn to program, use sensors and design attachments. In addition to LEGO robots, students will also learn about programming and robot design using Hexbug Nanos and Spheros in addition to making hand-built models from household items.
Julia has been teaching with Steam Powered Kids since September 2021, leading their “Junior Robotics” classes at Warren T. Jackson, Sarah Smith and SPARK Elementary schools. Julia teaches about robotics through form (design), building (engineering) and programming (through coding, engineering and/or design). Students work with the LEGO Boost platform, Spheros, and Hexbug Nanos as well as exploring design and engineering by building with everyday household objects. In addition to those classes, Julia has worked as an assistant coach for the “Senior Robotics” classes, which are centered on preparing student teams for the Georgia FLL (First Lego League) competition. These teams work with LEGO Mindstorm and LEGO Spike Prime platforms. Julia has also taught robotics courses with Summer Institute for the Gifted (SIG) and summer enrichment courses with My Afterschool Program.
Julia has also spent the past 20 years working as a graphic designer and communications professional, most recently as the Director of Design Strategy for Agnes Scott College. In particular, Julia was able to work with small groups of students to design materials promoting the college’s annual Writers’ Festival. This often involved working with students who had no background in design or communication, leading them through the creative process, including teaching the basics of using professional design software, and resulted in student designed postcards, posters, a printed anthology and supporting digital marketing materials.
As an educator, Julia's goal is to impart critical thinking and problem solving skills to her students. Whether teaching elementary students about how form impacts the programing of a robot, or teaching college students how to sketch thumbnails to design effective posters, or working with kids to learn proper swimming techniques, her focus is on ensuring the students are engaged, understand the material and feel safe to explore and experiment. Julia's philosophy: There are no failures or mistakes, only opportunities to learn, refine, and test ideas.