Magikid Robotics Lab has produced 12 state robotics championship teams.

Robot lab helps Irvine kids join the space race

by TOMOYA SHIMURA

Wenjin Liang doesn’t just want to teach kids about robotics and coding.

She wants them to have fun.

That’s why her Magikid Robotics Lab of Irvine relies on thousands of fun activities like playing hide-and-seek, Twister and tug-of-war with robots.

“We make technology learning really fun for kids,” says Liang, who majored in computer science in college. “They acquire knowledge and skills, but they don’t feel like they are studying.”

Apparently, the method is working.

Since it opened at Woodbridge Village Center in 2018, Magikid students have won 12 state robotics championships in various categories and age groups.

In March, 13 teams from Magikid submitted their projects to NASA’s Mission To Mars Student Challenge. Students learned about Mars, designed a mission to explore the planet, built and tested model spacecraft and components, and engaged in scientific exploration.

Four Magikid projects have been featured on the NASA website.

“I’ll be very proud of them if they someday work for NASA,” Liang says.

Serving students ages 4-14, Magikid offers classes for beginners to top competitors using popular robots such as Wonder, Lego, and VEX.

Many of Magikid’s lessons are taught through projects. Students learn to solve problems by combining skills such as engineering, math and physics. For example, kids program robots to build a house that can withstand a simulated earthquake.

“We try to teach them to be problem solvers,” Liang says. “As long as you give them a problem, they try to seek a solution by themselves.”

You can learn more about Magikid online at irvine.magikidlab.com.