What is your registration process?
Robotics is a very generic word and various clubs handle the work differently. Our approach in robotics has below ingredients:
- Engineering (Thought process, Journal, Problem-Solving)
- STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
- Presentations (Kids present their work to parents in a formal event)
- Competitions (Every 3rd term is a mandatory competition term with prizes)
- Long Term (our Exceeders program is 18 months long followed by Arduino and Raspberry PI)
We recommend anyone who is thinking of robotics take our Free Trial Class to have a chance in sitting in a class and try the program. During trial class, students get to program a robot, parents are sitting inside the class to see the process, and teachers perform an assessment. At the end of the trial session, if all are happy, we will give parents registration forms to sign up for the program.
What are class schedules?
We run classes Monday to Thursday evenings, as well as Saturday and Sunday all day. Class schedule for upcoming classes are posted on the website here[LINK]. We request parent availability in our registration form and set up classes based on that. It usually takes 1-2 weeks after the trial session to start a class.
What are the age ranges and how are they arranged in classes?
We have 2 programs, Exceeders and Junior Exceeders.
Our Exceeders program is 9 terms (1.5 years) and designed for students 8 years and above. Students who are 8-11 will attend a different class from 12-15 years old.
Our Junior Exceeders program is designed for 6-8 years old and uses a very different approach. Students within Junior Exceeders will eventually start in Exceeders program once they have gained fundamentals and experiences necessary to begin.
Is there any experience necessary to join the club?
No. Our curriculum starts from term 1 which assumes no knowledge and builds its way to term 9 where we have learnt C programming to program robots. If a student has experience, we will accommodate him/her in a higher term depending on the experience and knowledge.
What is the class size?
6 students per class.
What is the student to teacher ratio?
Minimum 1 teacher for 6 students, but depending on the class and term, we could bring 2 teachers. There is an additional teacher in the centre at all times.
Do we need to purchase anything or bring with us to the class?
No. We do not encourage parents to buy any of the robot platforms. It is not the robots that do the work, it is the sense of accomplishment that keeps the kids motivated. Projects are key to keep students motivated in learning the material. Generally, robot kits are very pricy and throughout the Exceeders program, we change 3 robot platforms, which is a platform every 6 months. When students are at advanced levels working with Arduino and Raspberry PI, we recommend parents to provide students with a board which is very inexpensive and can help students work at home.
What is so special about Exceed and why would I sign up my kid here?
There are quite a few facts that separates us from many places with same activity:
- We have a curriculum for minimum 2 years which has set goals and objectives for each session of each term. This curriculum has other components such as presentations by kids to parents, competitions and awards which are the tools to motivate students in doing better and reward them for achievements.
- Our focus is on programming and specifically C language which enables kids to learn not only Robotics, but also a programming language that helps them in other areas such as computer programming, app programming, JAVA, Python, C#, C++, VBA, …etc.
- We are an Engineering Club and not a hobby place. Our staff background ranges from Engineers to Masters and Ph.D. Our founders have years of experience in Robotics, Automotive and Software Engineering.
- Our joint company specializes in Robot design and manufacturing which ties the education to real-world application. We are currently designing robots for hospitals to sanitize the rooms automatically, as well as project for TTC buses to enable smart tracking. This tie has produced opportunity for our club students to be involved in real-world Engineering projects.
Is 1 hour per week enough?
Yes. Learning span of a kid is 50 minutes. Our classes have deigned structure with 15 minutes of theory, usually in the form a presentation, at the beginning of the class, then 45 minutes of work. Our experience has shown us that motivation is much higher when classes are shorter and students leave hungry to come for more. We used to have our classes run 1.5 hours per week and 1 hour has had much better outcome. We take classes seriously with known outcome at the end of each one. Small class size make it possible to give personal attention to each student. The results are great with the system.
Are you part of outside competitions?
Our centre is an Engineering club focusing on student thinking and problem-solving skills, STEM education, Robotics and Programming. We have our own internal competition which is part of the curriculum. We are looking into outside competitions but it is important to realize that only a very small percentage of students can participate in the outside competitions. So far we have been dedicated to making our curriculum server all students within the centre, but we might look at starting a team this year.
Is there homework?
We do not force homework since we realize most kids have busy schedules. Our program has been designed to ensure students learn Robotics by just attending our classes. If we find students are excited about learning Robotics, we occasionally give them research projects to work on, or be involved in our Engineering Robotics work. Also when students complete 9 terms (1.5 years) and start advanced curriculum (Arduino/Raspberry PI), we ask parents to budget $50 and purchase some hardware for them.