Maine Robotics Camp Leaders
Maine Robotics has prided ourselves by seeking out high quality camp leaders to run our summer camp programs. We have always wanted to find adult mentors who will bring the best possible experience to the youth who attend our camps. Over the past twenty years we've had everything from engineers to teachers to graduate students who bring their experience and excitement to the camps. Check out a few of our camp leaders here:
Past and Present Camp Leaders
Tom started the Maine Robotics Camp Program with the first LEGO Robotics camp back in 2002. Tom has degrees in Biology and Biomedical Engineering and has worked at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill; the University of Texas Health Science Center, the University of Maine in Orono, and now at the University of Southern Maine. He has taught at the Central Maine Community College and Eastern Maine Community College as well as a Maine middle school math and science teacher. Tom first started programming computers in 1979 while still in high school and while he doesn't hold a degree in computer science (there wasn't one offered in Maine when he went to college) he's been programming and building computers for over 40 years. Tom currently oversees all of the camp program and can occasionally be seen visiting or helping out in the classes.
Michelle earned a BS in Technology Education at USM and became a high school teacher in the fall of 2007, teaching metal working, drafting, and small engines. While looking for a summer job, she was made aware of a LEGO Robotics camp counselor position for Maine Robotics, which has became her summer job since 2008. Michelle loved working with the robots so much, that she started teaching a robotics class at the high school. This helped Michelle create other courses related to robotics, like computer science and engineering and design, which she still teaches at a Windham High School. Michelle has a passion for continuing her education and has earned a Master’s and Educational Specialist degree in Educational Technology from Boise State University. She tries to keep informed about the newest technologies, so she can share with her students and campers.
Billy started his working career as a bench technician at the Jacksonville (FL) operation of a regional radio paging company, and worked through a succession of roles and company names until leaving as a network operations manager for Verizon Wireless in Orlando. After more than two decades in telecommunications, he had to answer the question "What do I want to be when I grow up?", and decided to become a math teacher, in part because he remembered how much fun he had working with his crazy junior high school math teacher, who raved about "the beauty of the number system". He moved to Maine, got a mathematics degree at USM, and has been in the classroom ever since, teaching math and coaching math enrichment during the school year, and leading camps for Maine Robotics in the summer. Billy's been with Maine Robotics since 2010 and Freeport High School since 2020, and loves the thrill of seeing students and campers "get it" when working on a challenge!
Kendra Hansen is an audio engineer/audiovisual technician from Orono, Maine. She has worked on the technical side of event production and in recording studios since 2017. She studies at the New England School of Communications, majoring in Audio Engineering and earning a certificate in Live Sound Technology. She has been with Maine Robotics working the camps since 2015, and has worked running several FIRST LEGO League teams over the years. Kendra has a passion for programming and technology and loves that she has the opportunity to share it with others.
I started my life with Robotics when my school offered the stipend for an after school program over a decade ago. I was a dance major in college which gave me the interest in motion and my father, grandfather and great grandfather were all engineers. That provided the interest in building robots. I took the stipend and shut myself in a room for two days, built the robot and programmed it. Along the way i met Tom Bickford of Maine Robotics fame and started working for him in the summer. I love middle school kids because of their interest in many different areas, their enthusiasm and their ability to try new things. I spend my school year at the Camden-Rockport Middle School working as a substitute teacher and advisor of several after school programs including Robotics.