Who is Build a Robot?

Build a Robot is the only provider of computer science, coding and robotics classes that is combined with social emotional learning to help kids (our future and current problem solvers & leaders) be human-centered through the development of skills in empathy, positive thinking, collaboration, creativity, perseverance and lifelong learning.

OUR STORY

  • Summer 2015

    The idea struck - what if we start a summer camp with an emphasis on creativity, hands-on learning, and problem solving? We started with 4 weeks of STEM summer camps for 200 students in Beijing.

  • Fall 2015

    1st Robotics Kid Club Launches at our house to have our kids and their friends build robots together.


  • Summer 2016

    When we reflected on the first summer camps, we realized that we were missing a key component - an emotionally connected safe community. In this second year of summer camps, we expanded to four cities with15 teachers teaching 400 students and we added Social Emotional Learning (SEL) modules to our programs.

  • FALL 2016

    In order to grow our impact and increase reach, we created a public benefit company called Kids2GLOW. The GLOW stands for Growth mindset, Lifelong learning, Open, and Worldwide. This allowed us to expand into schools and build a team to build curricula and teach.

  • 2017

    Partnered with RoboRobo, a company with more than 15 years in developing education robotics products and curricula. RoboRobo was looking to expand to the U.S. and chose us because of our educational programs.

  • 2018

    Opened Build a Robot Learning Center in Superior, CO. We opened the center to develop a community for consistent computer science literacy education for all students and a pathway for accelerated students to excel. We decided to name the learning center Build a Robot to quickly convey the message of building together.

  • 2020

    To continue to expand our reach and impact, we launched live online learning classes.

Meet the Team

We are a group of educators, engineers, entrepreneurs, and parents who are passionate about our mission: creating and advocating for innovative human-centered education to inspire and develop empathetic problem solvers and leaders.

QING HUA

Founder & CEO

Qing is passionate about fusing education, technology, industry, diversity, and human empathy to make this world a better place through education. Before starting Build a Robot K12, Qing worked in the telecommunication industry for 15 years as a senior engineer, engineering manager, and a product manager. Qing holds a MBA and a MS in Telecommunication from University of Colorado at Boulder, a MA in Communications from University of Delaware, and a BS in Electronics Engineering from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. She currently serves on the Colorado Department of Education Gifted Education State Advisory Committee. Outside of work, Qing enjoys books, new tech, music, the outdoors, and exploring new places and cultures.

Danielle Hughes

Co-Founder & COO

Dani is passionate about inspiring and educating students to be globally competitive, happy, empathic, purposeful, and to be creators and makers. Prior to Build a Robot K12, Dani worked for 10 years with Lafuma, an outdoor gear manufacturer, in sales, logistics, and operations management. Danielle has an MBA from the University of Colorado in Boulder. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, mountain biking, skiing, and spending time with her amazing family!

Jackie Weber

Director of Learning & Development

Jackie is passionate about improving the lives of others and has been fortunate to use her role in education to impact the lives of students and teachers for 20 years. She is a leader in Mathematics Education, Computer Science Education, Systems Leadership, Program Management and Systemic Change for school districts across the nation. Jackie is currently engaged in Computer Science education across Colorado in partnerships with school districts, mindSpark Learning, and Build-A-Robot K12.

Isaac Davenport

CTO, Instructor, Entrepreneur in Residence

Isaac is passionate about technology AND education. He is currently leading a startup company called Toys2Life where kids can make dolls and action figures talk to one another using BLE radios and an AI dialog engine. He teaches a class for Build a Robot K12 that utilizes Toys2Life.

Isaac has a PhD in Electrical Engineering from CU and has worked on dozens of product development programs, run small companies, and worked as a hardware, firmware, and software design engineer and technical management consultant for large companies. Previously he ran the engineering department at Sphero and Syncroness where he worked on products in the medical device, aerospace, instrumentation, robotics, commercial and consumer areas. He has been a mentor in the Boulder County Jail GED program and at the KIP charter school in Denver.

Wendy Bloechle

CMO and Advisor

Wendy is passionate about helping Build a Robot K12 grow so it can provide more impact to more students through human centered computer science education. She has over 25 years of marketing, sales, and product management experience having most recently worked for DHI Group as Vice President of Product Marketing. Wendy has an MBA from CU Boulder and BS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Illinois. Outside of work, she loves all things food, wine, and travel related…and even went to chef school at night to learn classical French cooking techniques.

Christine Lui

CFO

Christine has been managing finance operations at startups and technology companies for many years. She’s passionate about analyzing financial data, developing financial plans, and implementing growth strategies. Helping startups launch, scale, and succeed energizes her.

Kelley Anderson

Instructor

Kelley is passionate about helping students build their confidence in speaking and learning. She has been teaching robotics after school programs and STEM summer camps for three years. In addition to teaching for Build a Robot K12, Kelley is a Speech Language Pathologist at a K-8 school. She grew up in Columbus, Indiana and did her undergraduate and graduate work at Indiana University-Bloomington. Outside of work, Kelley enjoys learning about other cultures and exploring historical sites.

Leo Borasio

Design and Marketing Specialist

Leo enjoys helping startups and nonprofits develop their visual identity so they can grow to their full potential. Leo graduated from CU Boulder with a BS in  Strategic Communications and a BA in Anthropology. He is currently working on his Master of Architecture at CU Denver with the goal of moving his design skills to the built environment. Leo is also a co-founder of a Boulder non-profit, the Junkyard Social Club, a community gathering space complete with junk art, an adventure playground, maker classes, and a coffee bar – opening in early 2021.

Michelle Casey

Instructor & Curriculum Developer

Michelle is passionate about integrating science instruction with math and engineering in order to foster new and creative learning for all students. She has been teaching at a STEM school for over 6 years and has taught 4th, 3rd, and 2nd graders. She is a Colorado Native and graduated from Colorado State University with a B.A. in Human Development and Family Studies; plus a M.A. in Elementary Education from University of Phoenix.

Sergio Laureano

Instructor

Sergio is passionate about learning new technology and is highly skilled in Python, RaspberryPi, Gimp, Bootstrap, and Arduino. In addition to teaching for Build a Robot K12, he is a graduate student at ATLAS Institute, CU Boulder. He has an incredible portfolio as a technician who has a gift in combining technology with the arts and has worked in museums, concert halls, and theaters around the world. He is fluent in both English and Spanish and teaches a fun-filled class that highlights both Spanish and physical computing with Arduino. He is also an experienced stage and live-event technician for film festivals and rock concerts. Originally from Puerto Rico, Sergio has worked in the Baja, Mexico and Denver, Boulder and Telluride areas for more than 15 years.

Bird Marathe

Instructor & Curriculum Developer

Bird is passionate about technology AND education. He is a writer and educator from New York City who has written and voice acted for Toys2Life. In addition to teaching for Build a Robot K12, Bird is currently a lecturer for the English Department at the CU Boulder, and he also teaches the Graduate Record Exam and Law School Admissions Test for Kaplan, where he was selected in 2018 as the 1:1 Online Teacher of the Year. During the summer, he works with Native American youth, teaching creative writing, science fiction, and drama as part of the CU Upward Bound program. Bird has copy edited textbooks, published stories in a variety of literary journals, and performed in the Unseen Festival and Jaipur Literature Festival. Bird received his MFA in Creative Writing from CU Boulder.

Wei Miao

Application Software Engineer & Instructor

Wei is a hardcore robots enthusiast. He has a Computer Science background and received his master’s degree in Creative Technology and Design from the ATLAS institute at CU Boulder. During his master’s program, he mainly focused on the applications of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. His projects include Raspberry Pi and Arduino based educational robotics platform, voice interactive typewriter, and password protecting with physical computing. He is also proficient in 3D design, Web and Mobile App development.

Becky Muller

Director of Education Innovation & Instructor

Becky is passionate about having children and teachers feel empowered and engaged in their own learning. In addition to teaching for Build a Robot K12, she is the Digital Literacy and Technology teacher at STEM Magnet Lab School K-8. She is also a Google Certified Innovator, Google Certified Educator 1-2, Raspberry Pi Certified Educator and a certified Code.org trainer for CS Discoveries. Becky holds a Masters in Ed Tech from Boise State. She has presented on various topics at the International Society for Technology in Education, numerous Google Summits, Innovative Education Colorado and Highway 21, Adams 12 District Technology Conference. Becky is a strong supporter of Computer Science for all.

Chris Pontillo

Instructor & Curriculum Developer

Chris is passionate about bringing computer science to ALL educators and students. He has over 13 years experience as a K-5 teacher. In addition to teaching for Build a Robot K12, he is a technology coach at two elementary schools in the Adams 12 Five Star School District. As part of his role in Adams 12, Chris teaches students and teachers how to think critically and problem-solve using Computer Science, robotics, and coding. Chris has a Master's in Educational Technology from Boise State University, with Technology Integration Specialist and School Technology Coordinator graduate certificates. He is also a Google Certified Educator I & II and Raspberry Pi Certified Educator. Prior to becoming a teacher, Chris worked in a virology laboratory where he studied the SARS Coronavirus and other similar respiratory viruses. When not teaching, he enjoys reading, travel, photography, and listening to Old-Time Radio!

Kari Santos

Instructor & STEM Technologist

Kari is passionate about creating curriculum and software to make coding and networking more engaging and relevant to middle school girls. Previously, she was a software engineer and now focuses on teaching coding in ways that engage and create delight. She has over 5 years of experience in teaching coding to kids and adults and has been an instructor at CU Boulder. Kari has a BS in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and a MS in ICTD (Information and Communication Technology for Development) from CU Boulder. Kari is the founder of the non-profit Code Wagon which has the mission to inspire girls to find delight in creating technology.

Wayne Seltzer

Instructor, STEM Technologist & Advisor

Wayne is passionate about STEAM education and musical instrument user interfaces. In addition to teaching for Build a Robot K12, he also teaches robotics engineering camps at CU Science Discovery and is a technologist in residence at the ATLAS Institute at CU Boulder. Wayne founded and manages the Boulder U-Fix-It Clinic, where participants learn to repair broken appliances, toys and electronics with help from volunteer “fix-it” coaches. He holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His work experiences include operating systems and networking, home and office automation, electronics, CAD/CAM, database replication, software localization and telecommunications.

Maria Alder

Instructor

Maria is extremely passionate about robotics and computer science education and loves working with kids to help instill this passion. She will be a student at MIT this Fall and has worked as a volunteer and teaching assistant at Build a Robot K12 for the past 2 summers. She is a member of the National Center of Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) and works with middle school and high school students to teach them about Information Technology. She was part of her school’s BEST Robotics team where they took first place in their local hub and went on to compete at regionals. She plans to continue her studies in computer science by exploring the fields of machine learning and artificial intelligence where she hopes to make an impact in the fields of science and robotics. We are excited to have her join us for yet another Summer!

Pam Lewis

Director of Community Engagement & Partnerships

Pam is passionate about empowering all learners to reach their fullest potential.  Over the last fifteen years, she has spent time in the classroom and also as a 21st Century Learning & Innovation Specialist.  Pam was instrumental in bringing computer science education to her previous school district which allowed learners to explore coding and robotics while showcasing their work on their digital portfolios.  Her leadership in computer science and educational technology in the school district is aligned with Build A Robot K12's mission, and she is excited to be a part of the Build a Robot K12 community and mission.

Kayla Burkel

Instructor

Kayla is an enthusiastic explorer of technology and computer science. She currently teaches Computer Science at Thornton Middle School in Adams 12. She has her Bachelor's degree in History and a minor in Psychology from UNC and recently got her Master’s in Instructional Technology from GCU. She is a Code.org and Robotics Facilitator for MindSpark Learning. She loves to explore new types of technology and creative ways it can be used to solve problems. Kayla is a maker at heart who crafts, enjoys STEAM projects with her students, and creating learning environments that allow all learners (children and adults) to become creators with technology. Social emotional learning has become a passionate learning endeavor over the last few years. Bridging the digital divide has inspired her to bring all her passions together to help others learn computer science and problem solve with empathy.

Partners

Build a Robot K12 works with schools, afterschool programs, libraries, hardware and curriculum providers, and other organizations to provide computer science education in robotics, coding, and design with an emphasis on social emotional learning. We often collaborate with our partners on events, workshops, and projects that engage and support student learning. Our common goal is always to provide opportunities for students to build 21st century skills like problem solving, creativity, & growth mindset and to become leaders with empathy.

Careers

We want to empower all kids to imagine, build and create solutions for a diverse, inclusive, thriving society.

Working at Build a Robot K12 means that you’ll be surrounded by colleagues who are passionate about using robotics and computer science education coupled with social emotional learning to inspire and develop empathetic problem solvers and leaders. We want the company to have impact and to shape a diverse, inclusive, and thriving society. 
 
If this vision excites you, please apply!

OUR VALUES:

Here are our Core Beliefs that Guide Our Culture

Community

That means we show up for each other, act with empathy, and bring our authentic selves to work every day. We’re growing this company for our community, each other and our mission.

Innovation

That means we don’t do something a certain way because “this is how we’ve always done it.” We are open-minded. We innovate, iterate, make mistakes, improve, repeat.

Integration

We’re whole people. That means we build a culture that supports our team members’ growth professionally and personally.

Agile

We move quickly and deliberately in pursuit of achieving sustainable, global growth and reach.

Success

We believe that achieving financial growth and making positive social impact are equally important. Without both we cannot expand our impact and build our vision for the world.

Impactful

We improve people’s lives. That means our goal is to have a positive impact on the lives of all we work with: our students, our employees, our stakeholders and our community. 

Trust

We operate from a place of transparency and offer honest feedback, even when it is uncomfortable to do so. We do this because we trust one another’s intentions and want everyone to continuously learn and grow.