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Space to dream big

By Katie Rickson

How Enrolmy helps Adelaide Robotics Academy get more kids inspired and confident in STEM subjects

 

Adelaide Robotics Academy teaches computational thinking and creative problem solving through Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) for students aged 8-18. The Academy runs an after-school club, as well as workshops, incursions, holiday programmes and science displays for schools and other community spaces. 

 

The idea for the Adelaide Robotics Academy was sown when Daniel Manu’s son signed up to a Lego Subscription.

In one of the magazines, Daniel’s son, who was of primary school age, spotted a robot. Together they built it, programmed it, and fell in love with the whole process. It wasn’t long before Daniel signed up to Carnegie Mellon University to learn more about robotics and programming.

In July 2017, Daniel started a small robotics class for kids in their previous hometown of Warrnambool. 

For a small town, robotics classes were a novelty and a hit for the local kids. The classes were often full, with 50 kids desperate to learn. Word of mouth spread fast. 

In December 2018 Daniel and his family moved to Adelaide and the school became Adelaide Robotics Academy. 

Back then, Daniel was using a popular ticketing site to take bookings. But it wasn’t a catch-all system, so he was forced to do several things manually – like signing in and out and reconciling his accounts.  

Things really hit a snag when Covid-19 struck. Forced to move his programmes online, Daniel discovered that the ticketing system he was using would only pay him after the ‘event’ had run. This was highly problematic when the event was actually ten weeks’ worth of classes. That meant ten weeks of no income but still having all the expenses of moving the technology and teaching online.

Daniel started researching other options. At an opportune time, he received an email from the Enrolmy team. He booked a Zoom meeting with our sales consultant, Celeste Wakeley.

Adelaide Robotics Academy started using Enrolmy at the beginning of Term Three, 2020. Daniel says he loves Enrolmy’s technology explaining that we are “like a personal assistant (PA)”. And that really matters when he is the sole teacher, organiser and owner of the school.

He explains: 

“This platform does everything for me. I’m still amazed every day. It does the booking, they send me the money, I can send emails to parents. I can sign kids in and sign out. I love it.”

Before Enrolmy, booking kids into activities was an arduous process that would take a whole day of copying and pasting the details from the previous term. Now it’s easy for parents to enrol their kids.

Daniel says he is now saving up to eight hours a week on admin. That’s time better spent expanding his knowledge and skills, so he can open more kids’ minds to the possibilities of technology. And this has real-world implications. Daniel says we’re in an age where, “our reliance on tech grows every day”.

Enrolmy has also helped him streamline the way he captures, keeps and manages his information. Previously he would have ten different documents; now it’s all in one centralised space that he can access anywhere, anytime.

Alongside his usual term classes, Enrolmy gives the Academy the flexibility to set up a free programme for gifted girls, called The Rays.

Using Enrolmy’s Team Sorter functionality, Daniel can take expressions of interest, make sure that the girls enrolled meet certain criteria, and set up waiting lists. The Rays, an elite girls-only group, is the Academy’s way of noticing the huge gender disparity that exists in STEM subjects and doing something about it. 

When asked what Enrolmy feature he has found most useful, Daniel replied:

“I like that the booking system is streamlined and it’s no-nonsense. I know this because my son is enrolled in Enrolmy. When I enrol him it’s very simple and quick, so I know it’s easy for the parents. This is the most important thing. I don’t want to waste parents’ time.

Enrolmy also makes it easy to make changes.

Daniel says:

“Sometimes students need to move from Mondays to Wednesdays. I like that I can go on the Enrolmy website and make the changes. It will send an email to parents to confirm the booking has changed.”

Daniel’s always learning, and he’s passionate about doing all he can to prepare kids for their future career and inspire them to engage with STEM subjects. He’s also keen to keep the classes fresh and exciting by introducing new technologies – think drones and 3D printing – and take his advanced students to the next level. Since moving to Enrolmy, he has more time to pursue further education and the space to dream big.

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