The Robot Garage hopes to inspire the innovators of tomorrow with fun, hands-on engineering and robotics experiences today.
We are here to help kids develop a toolbox for the 21st Century. Our programs are designed to provide fun opportunities to learn basic engineering skills. Through these experiences, we encourage the development of soft skills; problem solving, confidence building, teamwork, and communication. We recognize that everyone has different interests, and while we are here for future engineers, we also understand how important these skills are to thrive in any field. Join us in empowering the next generation to collectively improve the world in which we live.
Create an “aha” moment every day, for every student.
Characteristics we value, share, and promote
People Focus (Empathy/Respect/Diversity)
Care for others, customers, and co-workers alike, and make everyone feel like they belong.
Team First - Working as a team and sacrificing to get the job done
We share both our successes and our mistakes. “Not my job” attitudes don’t fit in at The Robot Garage; instead we recognize and value those willing to jump in to help when needed. No one is too important to pick up trash off the ground.
“Embrace the adventure” - Growing as an individual employee
Be curious, ask for help, and demonstrate an ability to grow. Own and learn from mistakes. Bring joy and optimism to work and help others do the same. We are all teachers AND students here.
Excellence through Effort - Setting bars high
Excellence is the result of hard work, talent, and the drive to push past “good enough.” And though we will never have a perfect event, product, or customer interaction it won’t be due to a lack of effort. Attention to detail plays a big role in this effort.
We are interested in how the world around us works and look to it for inspiration and ideas. Thinking about why things are done is important and can lead to improvement and innovation. This often means “asking good questions at the right time to the right people.”
Our voice is friendly, polite, witty, clever, intelligent, insightful, humorous and often quirky.
Love technology and love to share that with others
Members of The Robot Garage team love to tinker, create, play and/or learn about technology and can’t help sharing those things with other people.
THE ROBOT GARAGE FAMILY
We want to welcome you, tell you a little about our family, and about how The Robot Garage got its start.
In 2010, we had two daughters in elementary school and one in middle school. Jonathan had a degree in engineering and owned his own website company. I had a BFA, and had spent most of my career working in the fashion industry. We were a family that loved to build things together...it didn't matter what. We built tree houses and flowerbeds and lemonade stands and we LOVED building with LEGO®.
As an outgrowth of this, our oldest daughter Jane wanted to join a First Lego League (FLL) Robotics team. Like many elementary schools, hers did not have a program. When she finally reached middle school, she joined their team and it was life changing. The school made it to the state finals, and there we discovered a parallel universe with thousands of kids like ours. There were innovative students everywhere and they were 100% engaged. Through that experience, we identified what we believed were three needs in our community:
The robotics season was short and these newly inspired kids had no place to go when the season ended. Athletic students had places to practice year round (tennis bubbles, ice rinks, pools) but robotics students did not.
Consistent Teaching Expertise
FLL robotics teams were volunteer driven and the experience students received was inconsistent. If a mom like myself was mentoring a team, there was less emphasis on engineering. If an overzealous engineer parent was mentoring, the robots were great but built by an adult with little student participation.
Many students were at schools with no robotics team, and curriculum that included little to no engineering. Students were not even given the exposure they needed to put engineering and robotics on their radar.
As an art kid, I always had places where I could take classes with other children who shared that interest. As an “art mom” in an engineering family, I realized no such place existed for our own kids. All these future engineers were trying to figure things out in their own garages or basements. There was no community gathering place for innovative students to work together.
Our family began to dream about a place that would provide opportunities for other kids in our community. We created a war room in our kitchen and every idea and photo went up on the wall. We wrote a business plan, hired friends to design our logo, and to design the space itself. On the same day we were finalizing the logo and the name of the company (the working name was simply “Build”), we found a 4,000 sq. ft. deserted garage in Birmingham to renovate. All of a sudden, our brand, The Robot Garage, was born.
What began as one family craving innovative experiences, has grown into what is now The Robot Garage family. We are a work-in-progress, and hopefully always will be. Our programs now serve 7,000+ annually from multiple locations, and are the result of many individuals developing and iterating new ideas. We have high expectations for ourselves and great dreams for the people we serve. We believe that by providing a place to “Imagine, Design, and Build,” there is no telling who, from our own communities, will invent the things that will improve our lives in the future.
Welcome to The Robot Garage family. We ask our team members to think of the best customer service experience they’ve ever had, and bring that to work every day. We are all about community, and providing warm, welcoming, educational, and successful experiences to our customers.
Jonathan, Sarah, Jane, Kate, and Thea Jacobs