STEM in NYC | Interview with Robofun’s Laura HartNovember 23, 2020
It’s no secret that we love teaching kids about STEM! That’s why we were thrilled to chat with the CEO & Founder of Robofun, Laura Hart. Robofun offers dynamic workshops for children with the latest technology to promote thinking that enables children to devise solutions to challenges that involve building, programming and creating in robotics, Minecraft, game design and stop motion animation. Laura shared with us the inspiration behind Robofun, how parents can introduce more STEM activities into their child’s life, and much more!
SmartSitting: What inspired you to start Robofun?
Laura Hart: I was inspired to start Robofun because I feel children LOVE leading edge technology such as robotics, coding, animation, and Minecraft. I wanted to create a way to support and nurture their learning. Prior to starting the company, I was the Director of the Computer Program at the Buckley School (14 years) and the Little Red School House (2 years). My specialty has always been developing creative curriculum in coding and robotics; my background is in painting and sculpture.
SS: How has Robofun adapted to the pandemic?
LH: We’ve successfully moved all of our classes online! We run Zoom classes in robotics, coding, animation, and Minecraft. We’re especially proud that we only have five children in a class at a time, as with Zoom, we make sure each child gets a lot of individual attention.
Additionally, we’ve created a drop in enrichment center to help parents with remote learning. Parents may drop off their child at our studio on 102nd and Broadway in Manhattan to allow kids to do remote learning in our facility during the day (so parents can have a break, and we can keep your kids on target with their school learning) and for after school drop in programs.
SS: What outcomes do you see from children who participate in your STEM programs?
LH: They learn to code, they become more curious, engaged and responsive learners. We teach teamwork, collaboration, and problem solving skills. Our biggest outcome is helping children love to learn. This is transformational and transferable from tech to other fields.
SS: In addition to STEM, you also infuse art and creativity. How does this focus impact your programming?
LH: We look at each project and each curriculum creatively. We believe that there are many ways to solve problems and it is to our children’s benefit to find their own solutions, with our support and coaching. Each project from each child may be completed differently and each child will come away with some of the same and some different learning experiences. Learning is not a one size fits all situation, and our approach becomes very individualized to each child’s needs and abilities.
SS: What tips do you have for parents looking to introduce their children to STEM activities?
LH: Try a class with Robofun! We have online and in person private lessons and group classes. We’ll be announcing a Small Business Saturday discount that will go live from November 25 – November 29th.
Ready to get your child started with Robofun? We want to hear all about your experience. Tag us on Instagram, so we can see your kids having a blast! Want more information from our partners? Make sure to sign up for our monthly newsletter.