ABOUTUS

Star Kids Staff is a group of educators who are dedicated to bringing interactive higher education to children ages 5 - 11. We have come together to create unique programs, lessons and education for children to explore and develop their creativity and their intelligence.

 

Star Kids Academy is a company that offers higher education and interactive courses for children ages 5 to 11. Our after school and summer programs currently focus on Robotics and Programming. We at Star Kids understand that all children develop differently and at their own pace and are dedicated to understanding the specific needs of every child. We believe that children have an enormous capacity to understand and simple communication is key to this understanding.

 

Our Methodology is: Safety First - We provide a fun and safe environment for higher education to take place, we put safety first on the list of priorities. Star Kids Academy enforces a strict no-bullying policy. We teach kindness, respect, manners and caring for others at a young age. Children learn to problem solve and work together respectfully at all times, this ensures peace of mind for parents as well as other students.

 

Challenge is Best - Children develop in a more engaged way when they are challenged with understandable and exciting subject matter. We believe that just the right amount of challenge is important. We test every child and get to know them on an individual basis, this lets us understand what type of education path works best for each child. Our courses continue throughout the year and build upon previous weeks for a deeper understanding of subject matter. Our instruction develops understanding at a methodical pace while children interact with the material throughout the learning process.

 

There must be balance - Our society is moving very rapidly into the world of technology and we at Star Kids believe there must be balance. Our courses offer a balanced and interactive way for children to participate with and understand technology without becoming consumed by it. Children explore technology through activities with other students, and lessons are taught to focus on the subject matter rather than the technology itself.

 

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Daniel Gil

Daniel is an inspired individual that has a passion for teaching our youth. He has lived in San Jose all his life and worked at companies such as Micrel, Microchip Technology, and Star Kids Academy. Daniel has taught robotics and other various subjects for the better part of 5 years. He has used the knowledge of working at big robotic corporations to excite young curious scholars. On his free time he tries to find new and fun exciting ways to incorporate robotics in our every day lives. He hopes to inspire the new generation to do better and reach further.

Leena Elzeiny

Leena is a computer engineering major who has taught classes of elementary schoolers for five years. She first experienced her major in a program much like Star Kids Academy, and has returned to pay it forward and help students find their own passions for engineering and STEM. She has three years of experience with robots and FIRST, and wouldn't hesitate to say that all students should experience the magic of robotics. Leena serves as assistant instructor, lead instructor, and curriculum development at Star Kids Academy. 

Thomas H. McPhatter, Jr.

 

Thomas has worked in the field of electronics for 40 years, retiring after 20 years spent with IBM as a technical lead and IT specialist. He received an AS degree in electronics from Mesa College in San Diego, then studied Computer Science at SJSU. Over the last 5 years, he has done volunteer work through IBM; guided students at Painter and Sylvandale elementary school through Lego robotics classes, and given presentations on computer technology at Independence high school for eWeek (Engineers Week). Thomas does not just work with computers as an occupation, he also does it for fun. He is a "hacker" in the classical sense, with a passion for fixing, improving or repurposing equipment. Other hobbies include international travel and photography

 

 

Andrew Lawrence

 

Andrew is a 20 year old college student with 13 years of competitive and educational robotics experience. He attends De Anza College, where he is studying Mechanical Engineering and Economics with the goal of transferring to a Bay Area university in the next year. Andrew has experience as a Design Engineer on FIRST Robotics Team 971 Spartan Robotics in subsystem design and integration at the assembly level, Design Engineer on FIRST Robotics Team 1323 Madtown Robotics as robotic design and layout geometry in CAD and Lead strategic analysis and as a Product Engineer at West Coast Productions and Design to develop solutions for competitive robotics teams. Andrew is also the lead coach for FRC team #299 - Valkyrie Robotics. We are very happy to have Andrew join our team in bringing relevant and competitive robotics education to students as an instructor and curriculum developer at Star Kids Academy. 

 

 

David West

 

David has been working with children for over 18 years. In high school he was a music and theatre major and directed various musicals and plays for elementary students. David was offered scholarships to various colleges for his talent in music. He then went on to study theater and music at Foothills' Theater Arts Conservatory and worked with Children’s Musical Theater of San Jose. David played as a professional percussionist throughout the years in theater and stage throughout the United States.  In 2002 he returned to California to obtain his Bachelors degree from Humboldt State University in Theater Arts with a minor in Ethnomusicology, then went on to obtain his certificate in completion from SFSU's Music Recording Industry program. David has taught hundreds of students throughout the years english, music, chess, robotics, theater, and sports throughout the years within the public school system as well as the after school system. Through his love for teaching children, he hopes to bring new inspirations, new venues and new subject matter to kids in the field of education. David serves as a teacher, curriculum writer and educator for children at Star Kids Academy as well as a mentor for Valkyrie Robotics FIRST team #299.

***All employees are thoroughly interviewed, background checked, fingerprinted and tested in the 'field' before hire. Once hired, Instructors are trained, educated and aligned to teach our curriculum using ISTE teaching standards.