This Meet Our Team series will feature an interview with one of our team members every week, we're the humans behind the robots!
Meet Rhys Mendes, a STEAM instructor, a maker, and an inspirer! He was interviewed by our summer intern Kirsten.
Kirsten: First of all Rhys, can you tell us what you do at Little Robot Friends?
Rhys: I've been working as a Little Robot Friends’s educator since January 2018. I started teaching in one of the first Coding Clubs which, at the time, was an 8-week Saturday program for beginner coders. Since then, I’ve taught programs with Little Robot Friends at the TO Tool Library in Hillcrest, schools around the GTA, and one of my favourites is the intermediate program for makers where kids get to build and program a car, made entirely from cardboard and electronic parts.
K: Wow, you’ve been involved in a lot! What were you doing before this?
R: I was running a STEAM workshop series for ages 5 to 11 at the Toronto Tool Library, which Little Robot Friends has worked closely with. I have also been a TA at both OCAD and York University, a coding instructor with Hatch Canada, and was and still am a freelance theatre and AV technician specializing in creating custom special effects and lighting.
K: You sound very activate in the tech and maker community. What inspires you to teach?
R: I love to see the “aha” moment, when a student has grasped a new concept and begun to integrate it into their knowledge of the world, and though this is most common with little children, it can and should happen to students at any age. I'm still learning new things about the world all the time, and I want to pass that knowledge on.
K: That’s a pretty incredible moment. We’re going to take a bit of a left turn here… where is your favourite place to travel?
R: I'm a bit of a homebody in general, but I've really enjoyed visiting Nova Scotia this summer, and I'm looking forward to future trips.
K: What do you do for fun? How do you spend your spare time?
R: Reading, making art or electronics projects, occasionally playing music or games, and designing floral tattoos.
K: How do you want to impact the world?
R: If I teach a hundred students, and some of them remember what I taught them, and a few of them use it to make the world better in some way, then I did something right.
We’re so grateful to have Rhys as an educator here at Little Robot Friends. He’s been wonderful with students and so knowledgeable in all things tech! Kids absolutely love that he shows up with different hair color every other week!
If you’re interested in registering your kids for a coding class with our awesome educators, visit lrf.fun/workshops! Our Fall term begins on October 12th.