Class Descriptions

American Robotics Academy Course Descriptions 2020

Our mission at American Robotics Academy® is to excite, inspire, and motivate young people about the fun, importance and impact of robotics technology in today's world including STEM/STEAM curriculum. We hope to stimulate their imagination and creativity by encouraging them to explore, experience, and express themselves through our hands-on interactive robotics program. Held in a friendly, sports-like atmosphere, we focus on team building, problem solving, creativity and fun. Students will be working with the widely known and popular plastic LEGO building blocks, including the more specialized pieces such as axles, gears, beams, wheels, motors, microcomputers, pneumatics and other parts that will enable them to safely create animated and exciting mechanical movements and other effects. The LEGO Technic System has been adopted as the standard material for robotic designers, because of their sophisticated and powerful set of mechanical design components. The fact that they can be disassembled and reconfigured as necessary is essential in testing, design, and instruction. We also include learning skills and experiences with:

Diversity: As young children enter their first years of school, they’ll get to know peers with a wide variety of abilities, cultures, languages, and backgrounds. It’s totally natural for them to notice similarities and differences and express curiosity, and it’s up to the grownups in their lives to not only model acceptance of diversity, but to frame it as a strength. Boost Self-Esteem: Build children’s cultural identity and boost self-esteem by giving them chances to share their strengths with the class. Begin by talking with your class about how important it is to help other people feel good about themselves. Emphasize how scary it can be to feel like you are different from other people, and how brave it is to share things that are unique about yourself or your family.

Social Competency: Children who participate in teamwork building activities inside and outside of the classroom develop a greater sense of social competency because they learn to correctly interpret and respond to their peers' needs. Not only are children learning to work as a team, they're learning to actively listen and respond in a way that makes the group effort more effective.

Collaboration: Teaching children to work with each other to complete a task. It involves co-operation and teamwork and the sharing of ideas, knowledge and skills to reach the same objective. The objective is usually creative in nature. Most collaboration needs leadership or some kind.

Literacy: Children in our classes will be required to read LEGO curriculum in order to create their robots. We encourage the students to read and understand all instructions, part lists, and competition guidelines.

Numeracy: In order to understand Robotics, we begin with basic counting skills. Student will be required to understand what particular parts are based upon their size, which is calculated by counting the lengths and widths. Our next instructional method is teaching gear ratios and calculations for multiplication and division. When we teach the children about torque, additional and subtraction is needed in the calculations.

Mechanical Courses

Imagineers in Gear (IIG) (Ages PreK 5-7) 
Let your imagination and ideas take you wherever you want to go! 
You will learn key concepts and fundamentals in putting pieces together to create a structure or setting using Lego materials with structural Integrity. You will and engage in fun activities that include math skills to identify pieces required to build structures and or settings.  Settings can be things like; Mountains, McDonald’s-Future, and Community are just some of the settings that will be introduced in the program.  This program offers STEAM as well diversity, self-esteem, social competency, collaboration and more. Concepts and Core values are taught to prepare students for life challenges.  

Robotics Justice League (RJL) 1st-3rd Grade (Ages 6-8) 
Next steps to becoming a Master Builder in the Justice League! 
As a student apprentice of robotics, a master builder must conquer the concepts of robotics. Learn the basic mechanical properties of how things work and move through a hands-on learning experience. Students will explore the use of gears, pulleys, wheels and axles, motors and so much more. This class will open new windows, leading to the fun and mechanical world of robotics. You will work in teams to create extraordinary builds. This camp will introduce to why a robot needs power transferred to its wheels from a power source located a distance away; in addition, the direction of the motion needs to be reversed so the robot will go forward instead of backward. Begin your journey in becoming a Master Builder! 

Freshman Robotics (FR) 1st-3rd grade
You have gotten a little crazy and possibly even finished our apprenticeship. Are ready to stair-step your way to the top? If so, this is the first class for you to consider.  Now you can collaborate with your teammates to prepare an Infrared Wireless robot for a variety of activity-based challenges. Students will explore the use of motors, gears, pulleys and IR technology while building Lego Robot inventions. Each build will be followed by a thrilling challenge that illustrates the need for “simplicity” and the pitfalls of “complexity”. 

Crazy Action Contraptions (CAC) 1st-5th grade
Here’s your chance to be creative and a little wacky, too. We’ll be making some very “crazy and bizarre” contraptions that will truly amaze you. Your imagination can go “wild” with ideas on how to create even more complicated mechanical wonders. With motors, gears, pulleys, wheels of various sizes, and tons of other cool LEGO pieces.

Wild and Wacky Walkers (WWW) 1st-5th grade
Here’s your chance to be wilder and wackier than you have ever imagined. We will be doing lots of new projects including climbing robots and robot dogs with animated eyes, mouth and tails! You can add more modifications to all your builds for a superb animated effect. Join with us as we use gears and pulleys to build and battle a world of WALKING robots! This class will introduce you to LEGO mechanics and simple machines that you never knew were possible! Come learn, build and play with American Robotics Academy… Where Robots Rule!

Bricks Slayers (BS) 1st-5th grade (Ages 7-12) 
Join us on an adventure that requires creative thought, time management and team communication as groups build a diverse range of off-road vehicles in challenging activities with other bots! Students learn to build bots using Legos and apply different gear ratios that will enable them to modify bots to race against the clock and play tug of war! This class will discuss drive gears and the various ranges of gear ratios.  Here is your chance to learn which gear ratios are associated with speed or torque. Slay other bots in challenges with quirky modifications and diverse power plug-ins to eliminate the competition! 

Junkyard Battle Royale (JBR) 1st-5th grade
Now is the time to explore and battle in uncharted territory. In this class, battle-bots evaluate the potential of a rough and dangerous area before moving in permanently. Experts need you to build a variety of very unique robots with an awesome skillset, capable of driving over any junk or obstacle and overcoming any unfamiliar elements or elevation changes in this treacherous junkyard. Use gears, structural integrity, and IR Technology to overcome the unknown. Can your robot not only survive, but thrive in the junkyard?

Dumbledore Engineers R1– Grasping Reverse Engineering (DER1) 3rd-6th grade (Ages 7-12)  
Do you know any Master Builders with reverse engineering skills? Students will learn in camp that reverse engineering, also called back engineering, is the process by which a man-made object is deconstructed to reveal its designs, architecture, or to extract knowledge from the object. Camp Instructors will engage students in understanding reverse engineering is the process of taking something apart to understand how it works. The process allows junior engineers to create new Lego Bots and modify their Bots to have more power, torque and speed. Campers will explore the different ways to make Bots move, vibrate and dance if they want to! Students learn to think backward in reverse! 

Reverse Engineering R2: Rally Robots (REV2) 3rd-6th grade
Because life doesn’t always come with an instruction book, neither will your robots. Do you really need instructions to recreate, duplicate, or make a working model better? What’s the big picture? How do all these pieces make it happen? Teams must draw from their deeper understanding of how Legos work together to make a complete enhanced robot. In the Rally series, teams will be building tanks, “off-road” suspension robots, and design their own steerable robot.  Let’s go forward in thinking by building in reverse.

Gear Heads (5th-8th grade)
Let’s dive deep into the mechanics! Gear Heads is for the future engineer who like to dissect builds and engineering concepts and take things to the next level. This course revolves around compound gear ratios. Students will learn how to create massive amounts of torque and speed by compounding gear ratios together. We will measure power using newton meter spring scales and measure RPMs using tachometers to see how fast we can get things to spin. Take it to the limit in our ALL NEW gear heads course.

VEX (metal robots) 5th-8th grade
Work with real metal parts. i.e. nuts, bolts, washers. Students will be able to create and modify the VEX “Claw bot”. This robot has powerful gears and motors, as well as a robotic arm to be able to complete different tasks and missions. The VEX platform offers the most realistic approach to a mechanical building class.

Coding / Programming

Code Like a Intergalactic Champ (CLIC) (Ages 6-12  
Build your intergalactic robot using Lego BOOST kit.  You will build multiple robots throughout the duration of the course.  Have your robot do every wish you command in our ALL NEW coding class! Upon completion of the robot builds, each child will learn to program the robot to conduct different tasks using the drag and drop icons on the Boost Lego software. Each team is provided a tablet to access the coding software. Each lesson or challenge must be met before the next step is achievable. Team and individual activities will be conducted to achieve your robot’s goal. 

Mindstorms EV3 (EV3) 5th-8th grade
LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 makes building, programming and commanding your LEGO robots smarter, faster, and more fun than ever. Follow the simple steps on the software and before you know it, you’ll be in control of robots that drive, shoot, slither, walk, slam, and spin – to name just a few of the actions that come with this awesome robotics set. This course needs access to computers, and is designed for ancillary programs


We've added some new classes that we think you will really enjoy and mixed them around each month to give everybody a better chance at finding the class they want to take that will fit into their "crazy" schedule. We've intentionally designed the classes so you can take a "full day" of robotics if you want. The morning classes and afternoon classes complement each other or if you just want to come a half day, there's something for everyone out there.

If you would like to see our classes offered at your school, as an after-school program, call me and we can talk about how to make that happen. We have done this very successfully at many schools over the years.

Looking forward to seeing you back, working on something "weird and crazy" in one of our classes.