My name is Willem Scholten, but more commonly referred to around my two daughters school as the ‘Lego guy’. Most school days I can be found hanging out some where in the Coe Elementary school preparing and coaching after school Lego Robotics.
My passion is introducing kids through play and learning to the wonderful world of Robotics. Why Robotics? Well it is a perfect way to teach students about team work and to have kids experience the wonders of applied math, physics, biology and the sciences in general as well as computers (STEM). I have seen some amazing creations by kids who one never would expect to do so, I have seen incredible robotic failures through lack of team work, yet all of it have been great learning moments for all of us involved.
In the Fall of 2009 at the encouragement of my oldest daughter, who was entering 3rd grade, I formed a Lego Robotics team to compete in the First Lego League international robotics competition. After an intense couple of month in the fall the team managed to make it through the WA State FLL preliminary round to the WA State Championships. All of this to great surprise of the kids and their parents!!
That spring, after lots of interest by other kids in school, the program was expanded to include as many Kindergarten through 5th grade students. My focus is to get as many kids introduced to Robotics and STEM activities and in particularly show girls the wonderful world of science. [See: Engaging Girls in STEM article]. Now it looks like Robotics is becoming a serious after school activity at Coe.
For this year I have great plans, including entering three FLL teams and a number of jrFLL teams some as an after school program a number as classroom teams from Coe. It is again my plan to offer as many kids an opportunity to experience robotics, including a ‘hip-pop robotics’ dance party!
There is of course no way I can do this all by myself, a large part of the success is because of the parents and the teachers at the Coe Elementary School who have been a inspiration and help getting the kids engaged into robotics. So Thank You Coe Parents and Teachers!
So don’t be surprised if you find me some where around Queen Anne neighborhood in Seattle or on Lopez Island or where ever else where there are kids trying to engage them, encourage them or even ’shame’ them into the world of Robotics. Somehow it is my goal to get every kid bitten by the Robot Bug.