Online Instructor for LEGO Robotics & Invention Enrichment Classes (aka “Virtual Robot Genius”)
About this Job
This is a paid, 100% online/remote position.
Our mission is to create online STEM learning experiences for tech-savvy young students (ages 7 to 16) who have an interest in robotics and/or programming. Our students are generally very excited about the subject matter, as it’s an elective rather than a required course.
We use LEGO Robotics and/or Arduino to teach engineering principles. Our curriculum focuses on fun and creativity.
We’re hiring online instructors who can be relatable and engaging with our students while helping them to solve challenges, troubleshoot their designs, and think ‘outside the box’.
Instructors are responsible for working with groups of up to 6 students at a time on Zoom with limited supervision from a Head Instructor. We count on our instructors to be able to think quickly to solve students’ problems as they arise (or, ideally, to help them solve their own problems).
Class sessions will take the form of 1-4 hour sessions on Zoom, sometimes in large groups where you are one of many instructors, sometimes in smaller groups where you are taking on more responsibility. You may also have the opportunity to help students one-on-one in private tutoring sessions. All of this is scheduled around your availability.
· Passion for teaching kids about science and technology.
· Ability to break complex ideas down into simple terms so that younger students can understand.
· Ability to demonstrate/explain ideas to students using Lego pieces and/or code without accidentally overstepping and completing activities for the students.
· Ability to think quickly and independently when working with individual students to resolve issues quickly, while at the same time maintaining clear and open communication with the head instructor as well as with peer instructors so that the teaching team can maintain a unified and coordinated effort.
· Experience with LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 robotics.
· Solid grasp of programming concepts and methods, and the ability to apply those concepts and methods fluently within a variety of programming environments (LEGO now supports multiple languages, including Scratch and Python).
· Must have high speed internet access and a modern computer capable of uninterrupted Zoom calling.
Preferred, but not Required:
· Experience with Arduino.
· Experience with Scratch and Python programming languages.
· Experience with LEGO Robotics competitions such as FIRST LEGO League.
· Experience with Invention Competitions or other Science Competitions.
· Experience with classroom management and/or team leadership.
· Experience with online teaching via Zoom or another platform.
· Enrollment in (or graduation from) an undergraduate engineering program or computer science program.
Position Tasks & Responsibilities (may include, but are not limited to):
Individual Mentoring of Students
· Identify when a student is ‘stuck’ on an activity and help them to get back on track. This may involve helping students to think ‘outside the box’, or it may simply involve re-explaining robotics concepts from the lecture so that students understand. It may also involve asking clarifying questions and/or providing motivation.
· Demonstrate possible design ideas to students (to stimulate their imaginations) using LEGO pieces, code, or other materials.
· Refrain from actually completing the student’s work for them… it is important that students complete the activities themselves so that they feel a sense of accomplishment and technological proficiency.
· Our instructors are role models for students who want to pursue a major that focuses on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Math). We expect you to be a good influence and to encourage our students!
Instruction / Content Development
· We do not generally ask our instructors to give lectures or to teach formally, as our programs are centered around videos which provide most of the educational content students need in order to get started. However, you will have the opportunity to give lectures and/or to help us produce content if you’re interested and able!
About Robot Academy
Founded in 2006 by FIRST LEGO League world champions, Robot Academy provides hands-on & project-based STE(A)M learning programs for grades K-9. Thousands of students have graduated from Robot Academy’s in-person camps and after-school programs, and now hundreds more have graduated from its online programs. Many of these students have gone on to win national awards in robotics and invention competitions!