Updated: Nov 16
Local robotics-education startup True Robotics has been making noise about the need for STEM education in primary schools for the past couple of years in Worcester County and the greater Boston area. Their unique approach to education has been so successful for middle school students that they decided to extend their reach to a younger demographic with Pilot, a robotics kit and curriculum classroom package for 4th and 5th-grade students. True Robotics will be holding a 4-hour STEM workshop at Vernon Hill School on Friday, October 20th, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. for over 250 students to showcase their new robotics platform for elementary school education.
"We just think that the sooner we can introduce kids to this type of STEM education, the sooner they can start to build a positive association with technology and education overall, and that association will spread into other areas of academic study as well. Once they feel engaged, they will actually WANT to do more, plus they're learning concepts that will help them in the real world." - President & Founder Anthony Galgano
Describing how the founders of True Robotics embody their own principles may sound cliché, yet it hardly does justice to the profound connection that lies at the heart of the company's inception. Their journey began at St. Peter Marian, now known as St. Paul’s Diocesan in Worcester, where Founder and President Anthony Galgano was just a 7th grader. During this formative time, he crossed paths with Co-founder Kwasi Acheampong, who not only served as his soccer coach but swiftly evolved into a mentor. Kwasi's guidance extended well beyond the soccer field, encompassing academics and invaluable life skills, forging a relationship that continues to shape True Robotics today.
While Anthony was studying robotics engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (True Robotics was also incubated at WPI's Business Development Lab), he volunteered at Kwasi’s non-profit after-school program for middle school students, Our Bright Future. The two came up with the idea of teaching the kids about robotics, and Kwasi paid Anthony to develop the robot kits while at school. The kits were such a hit that people in the community started talking about them, and word-of-mouth traveled to nearby schools. By the end of 2022, the team had so many orders they were having trouble fulfilling them all. Anthony rolled the dice and quit his job to dedicate all his efforts to True Robotics and give back to the community that helped raise him.
True Robotics' mission is to make STEM education more accessible, engaging, effective, and, most importantly, more fun for children in middle school - and now, elementary school. The company’s new classroom package, “Taking off With Pilot,” is designed to introduce students in 4th and 5th grades to STEM through an immersive robotics experience. The project-based curriculum aims to get students engaged through collaborative activities that provide a foundation for the fundamental concepts, tools, and academic vocabulary associated with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics; the course is supplemental, meant to strengthen familiarity and prepare students for further academic endeavors and get them excited about doing so.
The STEM workshop at Vernon Hill School is also a celebration of Central Mass STEM Week, an Extension of Massachusetts STEM Week. The event will be held Friday, October 20th, from 8 a.m. to noon, and while it is not open to the public, there will be media coverage afterward. Over 250 students from 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grades will participate. They will perform workshops with Pilot delivered by staff from True Robotics and volunteers from WPI. The itinerary is as follows:
8:00a.m. to 9:15a.m.
Tools and Mechanics with Pilot
9:15a.m. to 10:30a.m.
Beginner Programming and Coding
10:30a.m. to 11:00a.m.
11:00a.m. to 12:00p.m.
Science Experiment + Real World Applications