Our response to COVID-19 (Questions 1 to 4)
- My kids want a fun, STEM experience this summer, but we are not sure about In-person or Online. Can we change our minds? Robot Academy has the kindest refund policy out of any of the camps in our industry. We do this because we understand that schedule conflicts and illnesses can arise. Robot Academy is happy to switch you to another camp for free (in-person or online camps). Just email us before your registered camp begins to let us know if you would like to transfer into a different camp (if it is not full). If you are interested in our In-person camps, I recommend that you register ASAP because our camps will be 1/2 or less than our normal size so that we can allow for social distancing. For example, Governor DeWine limited the camps to 9 students per room.
- What will you do to ensure the health of students and staff on campus? In relation to our in-person summer programs, we incorporated the recommendations from the Governor's office into our procedures. Further precautions may be put in place as the current health situation and public health recommendations evolve.
Our summer staff follows these protocols to prevent and respond to illness:
- We will be following the current COVID-19 prevention guidelines including encouraging social distancing, and sanitation.
- We will have smaller camps this year with nine students per camp and two to four camps per location.
- Students have their own LEGO bin with LEGOs all week. Students have their own robot but can share with siblings or friends.
- Staff regularly wipes down and disinfects laptops, robots, LEGOs, doorknobs, tables, and commonly touched areas.
- Staff escorts students to the restrooms before and after lunch and snack, promoting frequent and thorough hand-washing techniques: 20 seconds using soap and warm water. Hand sanitizer is also widely available.
- Staff confirms with families during check-in that their student is in good health, and has a temperature below 100 degrees.
- The students will still win trophies and medals. We will have an award ceremony for the students and record it for the parents/guests. We will not have an audience for the award ceremony at any of the camps this summer in response to social distancing recommendations.
- We will be following the current COVID-19 prevention guidelines including encouraging social distancing, and sanitation.
- Are there any discounts available during this time?
Robot Academy offers 20% off our online camps with LEARNatHOME discount code. We also have newsletters with occasional specials for our in-person camps.
- Can I be confident enrolling today? What if my plans change?
Yes. You can register with confidence, especially considering you may need more flexibility this year than normal. Robot Academy allows you the flexibility to make unlimited changes. If you are interested in registering for our in-person camp, you should do so right away to ensure availability. You can receive a full refund within 2 weeks of registration if you cancel.
Here is our Peace-of-Mind Policy:
- YOU CAN MAKE UNLIMITED CHANGES—with no fees—before your online session or the start of your in-person camp. Transfer options available for 2020 and 2021. No shows do not receive a credit since they take a spot in our small camps which sell out before the camp date.
- REFUND OPTIONS: You can receive a 100% refund if you cancel within 2 weeks of registering. After 2 weeks from the time of registration, if your child is not able to attend the camps scheduled, then we will work at helping you to reschedule your child into a camp at one of our other locations or into a different time at the current location. If that is not possible, then we can offer a Robot Academy Camp gift credit to be used at a Robot Academy camp or online course or private robot tutoring. Respectfully, no vouchers will be issued for no shows or cancellations on or after the camp starting time.
Other Camp Questions and Answers
- Is there a deadline for registration? How can I tell if a camp is still open? Registration will remain open for a given camp until that camp is full. Once a camp is full, its registration button will go away. If you see the registration link then the camp is still open. You do not need to call to make sure that the camp is still open. Camps are starting to fill up. We recommend that you register for a camp now and transfer the registration (free of charge) to a different date and location if your schedule changes.
- What is the Instructor:Student ratio at camp? We maintain at least an Instructor:Student ratio of 1:6 at each of our camps, with most camps at a 1:6 ratio for in-person and online camps. This allows Robot Academy to give individual instruction to students that need help. All our adult instructors pass a background check. The 'Blue Shirt' instructors provide classroom management and the 'Red Shirt' Robot Geniuses are Lego Robot experts that come alongside your student to provide individual attention. All instructors receive training before becoming instructors to ensure safety.
- Deducting Summer Camps with the Child and Dependent Care Credit According to intuit turbo tax, the child and dependent care credit provides a tax break for many parents who are responsible for the cost of childcare. Though the credit is geared toward working parents or guardians, taxpayers who were full-time students or who were unemployed for part of the year may also qualify. If you paid a summer camp, or other care provider to care for a qualifying child under age 13 or a disabled dependent of any age, you may qualify for a tax credit of up to 35 percent of qualifying expenses of $3,000 for one child or dependent, or up to $6,000 for two or more children or dependents. After your child takes the camp, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for our TaxID number. The child and dependent care credit is designed to assist working parents and guardians with some of the expenses involved in raising a child or caring for a disabled dependent. The credit, which varies depending on the taxpayer's earned income, is based on the expenses paid to provide child or dependent care services so that parents can work. It reduces the amount of federal income taxes due, which can in turn increase your refund. This frees up more money for some of the other expenses involved in raising a child. Keep in mind that expenses related to schooling, tutoring, or overnight camps are not qualifying expenses. Robot Academy camps qualify because the camp was selected to provide care while the parent or parents were at work.
- How safe is my child at camp? Robot Academy has been teaching Lego Robot Camps for 14 years and has procedures in place to ensure the safest environment possible. Instructors with cleared background checks are in a classroom at all times. Students receive individual instruction in the classroom setting. Only female instructors take the students to the bathroom with procedures to safeguard student protection.
- How is lunch/snack handled at camp? Snack is provided, but students need to bring a lunch if there are staying for the full day. We also ask that snacks/lunches not contain nuts or peanut butter because some campers have severe allergies. Students with food allergies can sit at an allergy free table for snack and lunch. All student wash their hands before and after eating to keep our Legos allergy free. Students are supervised during lunch. Most locations have fun games for the students to play after eating and before the afternoon camp begins.
- Are different ages in the same class? Yes, we divide the classroom into ‘Seniors’ ages 9 to 16 years old (and experienced younger kids) and ‘Juniors’ ages 4 to 8 years old. Depending on the location, the Seniors and Juniors may be in different classrooms. At all locations, students are seated at tables with students of similar ages, for example, 5 and 6 year olds will be at the same table. Students are encouraged to share ideas and help each other solve problems. Students work on both team projects and individual hands-on projects. We keep track of accomplishments and talents (such as creative design) and students win trophies at the award ceremony on the last day. Senior and Junior groups win separate trophies so that Juniors are not competing against Seniors. In general, the junior camp receives assistance from the instructors as they walk them through the material. The senior camp receives instruction and then tries it themselves and receives help when needed. We have taught for 14 years and have had a lot of success with this model. Our goal is to build confidence as students earn points towards trophies. Robot Geniuses help students to ensure that all students earn trophies.
- My child has special needs. Are these programs appropriate for him/her? Yes, our program is especially successful with children with learning differences such as Dyslexia. Students do not need to read or write to participate in the camp. Students work at their own pace with LEGO Robotics challenges and earn points towards trophies and medal. We show the students the awards at the beginning of camp, so students are highly motivated and have fun earning points. Students that are not earning points or need extra help are given one-on-one instruction from our Robot Geniuses. Robot Academy is a registered vendor of Delaware County Board of Developments Disabilities, Union County Foundation, Fairfield County Board of Developments Disabilities, and other counties that provide free camp tuition for residents with disabilities. Franklin County does not offer it for their residents. Students work in teams as well as on individual projects each day. Because of this, we cannot accommodate students with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) or Intermittent Explosive Disorder. If you have questions about whether or not this camp is the right fit for your child, please call the Director of Operations at 614-893-8106 to discuss.
- Does my student need to have a Lego robotics kit? A Lego Robot kit is not required to attend camp. We provide all the materials necessary including computers, Lego Mindstorms kits, Legos and fun! If you're interested in buying a Lego Robotics Set for your child to work with at home, visit this page!
- Will my student be able to bring a robot home? Unfortunately not. The robotics kits that we use cost over $350 each. However, every student will leave camp having earned a cool trophy, ribbons, and a 'robot log' detailing accomplishment throughout the week.
- Does my student need to have Lego robotics experience? No, our camps are designed to challenge students of all skill and experiences levels. Instructional sessions and activities are tailored to the needs of individual students. This means that students who have never even seen Lego robotics before will be able to have a great time succeeding at introductory-level challenges. In the same way, students who have some experience will be challenged by more advanced activities. Our instructors are experts at identifying the needs of students based on their age, talent and experience.
- Where can I buy the Lego Robot Set you use in camp? The Lego Mindstorm EV3 sets are $350. If you're interested in buying a Lego Robotics Set for your child to work with at home, visit this page! The Lego Mindstorms education set includes the gyro sensor while the Lego Mindstorms home set includes the remote control.
- Can I use my Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account? Yes, we can provide our EIN number upon completion of camp. We can also fill out any applicable paperwork. Please bring it to camp with your child. Thanks.
- Is extended care available? Yes, Robot Academy provides extended care from 8 am to 9:30 am in the morning and 4:30 to 5 pm in the afternoon. Please select the option when registering for the camp.
- Are all activities done as a team? or are some as individual designs? Our camps balance our team activities and individual activities. For the individual activities, the students work on Lego robot activities at their own pace and earn points towards trophies. The parents are invited to the award ceremony on the last day where students win trophies according to their interests and accomplishments. We keep an eye on the points during the camp and help the kids so that all earn a trophy.
What is the refund/withdrawal policy (if not due to COVID-19 orders)?
Robot Academy has the kindest refund policy out of any of the camps in our industry. We do this because we understand that schedule conflicts and illnesses can arise. Robot Academy is happy to switch you to another camp for free. Just email us before your registered camp begins to let us know if you would like to transfer into a different camp. Of course, no shows at camps cannot receive a refund or transfer. Sometimes a student needs to miss a day of camp, but we can quickly catch the student up the next day if they don't have flu symptoms or temperature over 100 degrees. No worries.
If it is not possible to transfer your child into another camp this summer, we will transfer your child into a camp for Summer 2021. You can receive a 100% refund to your credit card if you cancel within 2 weeks of registering. After 2 weeks from the time of registration, if your child is not able to attend the camps scheduled, then we will work at helping you to reschedule your child into a camp at one of our other locations or into a different time at the current location. If that is not possible, then we can offer a Robot Academy Camp gift credit to be used at a Robot Academy camp within 15 months of original start date of the camp. We strive for Happy Campers so please call the Director of Operations at 614 893 8106 or email email@example.com if you need to discuss your situation.
- Do you accept funding from outside sources to pay for my child's camp? Yes, we accept scholarship funding from various programs. We are also registered with several agencies such as Delaware County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Union County Board of Developmental Disabilities, and Fairfield County Board of Developmental Disabilities which provide funding for specific individuals to attend our camps. If you are applying for funding, you can register online and mention the funding source in the comment section. Please exit out when you reach the payment screen and we will email you an invoice to send to your funding source. Your child's registration will be marked at pending payment so the seat will be held for your child while we are waiting for funding. Please email or call if questions about it.