Dear Robotics for All Community,
As we enter the third month of shelter-in-place, it is becoming evident to us that the impact of the pandemic will be a long-term one. At the start of the outbreak, resuming our classes at the beginning of the next school year seemed like it would be the worst case scenario. However, it is becoming increasingly likely that our classes will resume at a much later date. As student collaboration is a cornerstone of our curriculum, we will be unable to resume classes if social distancing measures in the classroom are required.
Due to the lasting extent of the outbreak, we are in the process of brainstorming ideas for online-remote instruction. Low-income communities are particularly impacted by shelter-in-place and we are committed to finding an alternative form of instruction that is online focused. Technology will not be a barrier as most schools are issuing laptops and many internet companies are providing free or reduced cost internet to low income communities. While online instruction will never replace the in class experience, in situations like this one they are the best we can do while complying with social distancing measures. By next month’s update, we should have decided on how we are going to run online classes and which platform we will use. In the long run even after a vaccine for the virus is distributed, online classes can still be useful in rural communities and for instruction outside of school hours.
In-classroom curriculum wise, we recently finished the development of the 14 day Lego Robotics Curriculum, which will replace our Programming Fundamentals and Creative Automation curricula. Our Early Builders Curriculum (our improved version of our Experimental Builders Curriculum) and our brand new Arduino Explorers Curriculum for middle schoolers are also close to completion.
Next month, June, is an annually big month of transition for Robotics for All. June 30th is the end of our accounting year (we purposefully chose this date to align with the end of the school year). It is when some leadership members will step down or leave entirely and when we will be welcoming new leadership members. In this month’s update, we will be honoring leadership members who will be stepping down or leaving entirely and in next month’s update, we will formally introduce our new leadership members.
Leaving Board Members/Board Members Stepping Down from Positions
Cathy Hou: Cathy is an incoming freshman at Stanford University and joined Robotics for All in January 2018 as one of our first volunteer teachers, even before we became a registered 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization. Since then, she has volunteered at several locations. After we incorporated as a nonprofit in October 2018, Cathy became treasurer on our inaugural Board of Directors. In her tenure as treasurer, Cathy formalized our volunteer donor receipt process and helped Robotics for All earn several grants. At the end of June, Cathy will be leaving Robotics for All’s board entirely. We wish Cathy all the best in her future educational and professional career and thank her for her invaluable contributions to Robotics for All.
Jaimie Lin: Jaimie is an incoming freshman at Washington University, St. Louis. She will step down from her position as Director of Publicity and Recruitment (a position she has held since our board was inaugurated in October 2018), but we are honored that she has chosen to remain as a board member. As Director of Publicity and Recruitment, Jaimie led our publicity committee. She oversaw the redesign of our logo, the creation of countless publicity materials, and the improvement of our website functionality. Jaimie has also been a volunteer teacher since September 2018. While she will no longer lead our publicity avenues, Jaimie will continue to advise Robotics for All as a board member.
New Board Members
Edmund Lam: Edmund is an incoming senior at Henry M. Gunn High School. He joined Robotics for All as a volunteer teacher in February 2019 and was officially voted in as a board member in March 2020. Edmund will assume the position of Director of Operations, Silicon Valley in July 2020. In the meantime, Edmund has been one of the developers of our Early Builders Curriculum and is leading the creation of our integrated web app.
Kenneth Meng: Kenneth is also an incoming senior at Henry M. Gunn High School and started volunteering for Robotics for All in March 2019. He was voted in as a board member in March 2020. Kenneth is one of the developers of our Early Builders Curriculum and is assisting with the development of our integrated web app.
Brooke Soobrian: Brooke is an incoming senior at Los Altos High School. She started volunteering in September 2019 and in December 2019 became one of our lead instructors. Brooke was voted onto Robotics for All’s board in March 2020 and will become our new Director of Publicity and Recruitment in July 2020. She is one of the developers of our Lego Robotics Curriculum.
William Xuan: William is an incoming senior at Henry M. Gunn High School and was Robotics for All’s third volunteer teacher, starting at our second class ever in December 2017. He was promoted to Director of Operations, Silicon Valley in September 2019, a role in which he coordinated logistics for our classes and secured a grant from Lockheed Martin. William was voted onto Robotics for All’s board in May 2020. In July, he will become our new treasurer and hand off the position of Director of Operations, Silicon Valley to Edmund.
We wish our leaving board members all the best in their future endeavors and we must thank them again for their years of service. We are thrilled with our four new leadership members and we are confident that they will continue to ensure Robotics for All’s success throughout this next school year.
In the meantime, we wish you all the best during these difficult times.
Max and Garrett
Founder and CEO
Vice President and COO