How We Are Funded

The Robotics programs represented here, are part of the overall mission of the Learning Access Institute (LAI), which is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 Private Operating Foundation. This small non-profit, has as one of its overarching goals, to increase access to 21st digital and knowledge based skills through innovative programs.

While in the past LAI has focused on closing the information gap in small rural communities through working with underfunded libraries, as well as working with various Native American communities in Washington and New Mexico, since 2009 LAI has increasingly focused on providing STEAM — Science Technology Engineering Art and Math — opportunities for our younger generations.

The CoeBotics Robotics Program and the other efforts described on The Roboticist website are the result of this refocusing.

Financials

All of the efforts of providing Robotics programs, particularly at Coe Elementary School in Seattle are self financed and all time spent on these programs are  volunteer hours contributed to the effort.  It has never been a goal of these programs nor that of LAI to be a money making venture.  As you may suspect the robotic programs, as they take place at Coe are in it self expensive, the amount of sophisticated LEGO and other components required to be able to serve as many students as we can and do, require a substantial investment.  All of these investments are self-funded and in many cases pre-paid with the hope that at some point these costs will be recovered.

Typical School Year Expenses

During a typical school, the Fall usually causes a financial loss.  During that time we need to pay the annual national and state robotics competition participation fees, are required to acquire various new LEGO robotics components, accommodate program growth — meaning more base sets each costing hundreds of dollars to increase student participation.  There are additional costs associated with preparing for the competition such special presentation material, T-shirts etc which can not be covered through the nominal participation fee.   Further all our programs are open to every child regardless of the ability to pay, and every year we will have a number  students who participate on scholarship.

In the Spring time, our programs are of varying length and level of challenge, with the primary goal to get as many kids from Pre-K through 5th grade at Coe exposed to robotics for at least 4 weeks.  For those sessions we charge a nominal participation fee, and again we are providing scholarships to ensure that no child in Coe is denied access for financial reasons.  During the past school year (2010-2011) we did not recover all our costs from the fall and the Spring, in part because of the honor of the CoeBotics FLL team to represent the state of Washington at the national Robotics Competitions at LegoLand.  However the four CoeBotic Summer camps have allowed us to recover most of those expenses and allowed us to expand some of our offerings for the coming school year, including the possibility of participating in the underwater robotics challenge and perhaps the World Cup Robotic Soccer.

At no time during the year, including the Summer Camp time, LAI has paid or compensated any one for their time and efforts, nor is it the intention to ever do so.  This is a choice I and my family have made, and is our decision entirely, and fits with our believe of rolling up our sleeves and not sit idle to help close a shortage of opportunities for our next generation.

Program Participation

2013 – 2014 School Year Goals and Achievements

2012 – 2013 School Year Achievements

  • Fall – 3 FLL teams of 10 students — 30 students; 6 JrFLL After School Teams (24 students); 1 or 2 full classroom Teams (40 ~ 50 kids)
  • Fall — all students Robotics Tech session of 45 minute during school day
  • Spring — 2 additional JrFLL cycles of 6 teams each ( 48 kids); 1 or 2 full classroom Teams;
  • Spring — second all students Robotics Tech session of 45 minute during school day
  • Spring — New Underwater Robotics Team effort (5th grade only — 10 -15 students) with potential competition in Hawaii
  • Spring —  150 other students through various 3 and 4 week Robotic Sessions
  • Summer — 6 different Summer Camp offered

2011 – 2012 School Year Achievements

  • Fall – 3 FLL teams of 10 students — 30 students; 6 JrFLL After School Teams (24 students); 1 or 2 full classroom Teams (40 ~ 50 kids)
  • Fall — all students Robotics Tech session of 45 minute during school day
  • Spring — 2 additional JrFLL cycles of 6 teams each ( 48 kids); 1 or 2 full classroom Teams;
  • Spring — second all students Robotics Tech session of 45 minute during school day
  • Spring — New Underwater Robotics Team effort (5th grade only — 10 -15 students) with potential competition in Hawaii
  • Spring —  150 other students through various 3 and 4 week Robotic Sessions
  • Summer —  6 different Summer Camp offered

2010 – 2011 School Year Achivements

Over 50% of Coe Students at least participated in 4 weeks of Robotics activities during the year.

  • Fall – 2 FLL teams of 10 kids each (20 Students)  and 6 JrFLL teams for a total of 24 students (44 students)
  • Spring – 150 other students through various 3 and 4 week Robotic Sessions
  • Spring – ALL Coe Students had 45 minutes of Robotics as part of the regular school day
  • Spring a number in selected classrooms all afternoon hands-on LEGO Robotics opportunities
  • Summer – 43 students through one of 4 CoeBotic Summer Camps