Category Archives: Learning Center Testimonials

“Thanks so much for creating the ultimate birthday party for our son.”

Thanks so much for creating the ultimate birthday party for our son. The whole Stratolab team really went the extra mile putting it together and we loved ending with a virtual pinata! The kids had an amazing time and our son had his dream event. After a summer of creating robots and video games, he’s addicted to not just playing with tech, but MAKING tech — which is the best of both worlds: learning something while having a blast. Looking forward to many more Stratolab adventures.

— Jay Z, a very happy dad, October 2008

“It was just incredible trying to make a guitar out of an Altoids box.”

Dear Winston, Maggie and Logan,

Thanks for warmly welcoming me into the atmosphere of Stratolab. I really enjoyed the four classes I was enrolled in. All four classes: DIY Electronics, Robotics, Electronic Music and Animation were all remarkable and entertaining.

DIY Electronics was one of my favorite classes. It was just incredible trying to make a guitar out of an Altoids box. I was appalled to find that when the guitar was completed, it sounded like a legitimate electric guitar! This made me imagine about what other things I could make out of everyday matter. Next time I will attempt to make a violin!

I also enjoyed building robots out of legos and programming them to actually move. Just building them and seeing them successfully complete the challenges made me feel satisfied and proud of what I’ve accomplished. Gears were a big part of the robots. It was interesting to learn which set of gears you use for speed and which sets to use for power. The knowledge about gears and how to use them properly can come in handy in the future.

All of these classes were well planned out and fun to participate in. It’s a good thing Winston gave me a postcard when I was coming back from school. I would have never found out about this spectacular camp without it!


Kyle L., Queens
Student, Age 13

“I had a great time at Stratolab and I hope to comeback in the fall.”

Dear Winston, Maggie and Logan,

I had a great time at Stratolab. Thank you for introducing me to new things. I really enjoyed the DIY Electronics. I thought building the flashlight and the electric guitar was really cool! Who knew that you could build a guitar out of an Altoids tin?

I will need to brainstorm more ideas

Robotics was great! Even though I had some hard times building them, I enjoyed building the robots and the different types. I thought my robot was pretty cool. It was able to hill climb and scale Mount L.! I also enjoyed constructing the video game. I didn’t think it would be so hard, but I was wrong. Yet I was able to program a video game that was very simple even though this was my first time! I had a great time at Stratolab and I hope to comeback in the fall.

— Sincerely, Matthew L.

“You guys are having an impact.”

Subject: You guys are having an impact.

Hey Winston & Sebastian,

I wanted to share with you that Franklin shared with me a pearl of wisdom that you passed on to him, Sebastian. I was commiserating with Franklin about the writing process and congratulating him on finishing something that was hard to start. I told him that I was having the same fear of the blank page (and fear of starting because you want it to be perfect and you’re afraid it will not be so you can’t even start) but that I was just gonna push on and write whatever came to mind, no matter how bad it turned out to be. Franklin said that was a good idea because Sebastian told him that “90 percent of what you start out using you end up revising or throwing away” after the editing process.

Wise advice from a smart guy. You guys are the best and my kid loves your class.

Pascale N.

“[Sarah] has greatly improved her theoretical understanding of Kumon Mathematics”

As Sarah completes her Stratolab Robotics course, I have noticed an interesting dynamic between her Kumon Math studies and your teaching methods at Stratolab. After attending two one week sessions, she has greatly improved her theoretical understanding of Kumon Mathematics by actual application in your robotics classes. As a Kumon parent for over seven years, I am thrilled to see her effectively integrate theoretical math with practical applications in a positive learning environment.

We look forward to your future course offerings.

—With Kindest Regards, Diane von B., July 2007

“Owen is still telling all who will listen about his exciting adventure”

My son Owen participated in the AMNH Robotics camp July 9 – 13. I just wanted to let you know that he is still telling all who will listen about his exciting adventure, and showing off his robot’s drawings. He thoroughly enjoyed the challenge, the structure of the program and the opportunity to stretch his mind. Thank you (and your staff) for creating such a wonderful, enriching experience for him! If we lived in New York, I think he’d want to move right in to Stratolab.

—Sincerely, Sharon R.

“My daughter had a terrific time and also learned so much”

My daughter had a terrific time and also learned so much during your Robotics Camp. She was so sad that it all came to an end. She seemed more self confident at the end of the week. Thank you again and please say thank you to all your most valuable assistants, who are wonderful and terrific with kids. It was a comforting thought that when I dropped her off in the morning, I knew she was in good hands. That is truly a gift for any parent.

— Malina M.

“I can’t imagine a more enjoyable way to launch a child into analytical and creative endeavors.”

I taught my Maryland summer camp in Effie and Jason’s home and got to know their son Evan quite well.

September 25, 2005

To Whom:

Our 10-year old son Evan participated in Winston’s Lunar Repair Yard game programming course in July, 2005, with five other children. Winston provided everything they needed for the course, and in two weeks they learned a tremendous amount. Games use many ideas common to all graphics software drawing to the screen, responding to typed input or mouse clicks, making decisions based on user input. By the end of the course, the kids had a great foundation for creating any graphical software, and since the development software is public domain Evan has been able to continue on his own since that time, He is still reading his Python book, writing programs, and talking about how wonderful the course was.

The Lunar Repair Yard was conducted in our basement studio, so we had quite a bit of interaction with Winston and his students. It was simply remarkable how well he kept their interest throughout the day. The students were six normally-rambunctious boys, but he was able to keep them focused for hours of learning and creating. The students worked both independently and together, so Winston was able to give each of them individualized help as well as guiding the class as a whole, and the students could help each other as well as collaborating on group projects. But it’s not boot camp: the programming day was leavened with bicycling or swimming to give the kids some physical as well as mental activity. There was also plenty of free time for the kids to play computer games and to interact with each other. All in all the program was designed remarkably well to maximize both learning and enjoyment.

Winston himself has terrific programming skills, but what sets him apart is his deep interest in mentoring and in communicating his love of programming to others. He always remained calm and patient, but he quietly expected the best behavior. Very rapidly the kids rose to the occasion and could be treated as adults. By the end of the class they had recognized him as a role model as well as a teacher and friend.

All in all, we recommend the course enthusiastically and without reservation. Winston has put a huge amount of thought and preparation into his work, and it’s paid off. I can’t imagine a more enjoyable way to launch a child into analytical and creative endeavors.

Jason and Effie K.