PICO RIVERA, Calif.— Armenian Mesrobian School is turning the challenges of distance learning into opportunities to advance its mission in new and innovative ways. True to Mesrobian’s commitment to a well-rounded education that includes “STEAM” subjects (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics), it launched an online Distance Robotics Club in early May, led by High School student Andrew Josephbek.
“Andrew has an insatiable intellectual curiosity and has had one from a very young age,” said Principal David Ghoogasian. “To prepare for launching the club, he completed an online robotics training certification program, created lesson plans, delivered the robotics kits to students, and set up a Google Classroom to guide students through their lessons.”
Andrew attended Mesrobian School from preschool through middle school, when he was invited to attend Elon Musk’s Ad Astra School located at SpaceX in Hawthrone. He has now returned to Mesrobian High School, and the school is working with Andrew and his family to further realize his potential.
The Distance Robotics Club was born when Andrew, who has a love for engineering and building, expressed interest to the school about teaching robotics to other students. The school saw this as a unique learning opportunity for both Andrew and his peers.
“Even with the challenges that distance learning presents, I feel that our club did very well. I’m excited for our club to meet in person so that the club can work as a team,” said Andrew.
Especially in high school, Mesrobian School encourages students to pursue their interests and find opportunities for leadership in fields they want to study. This helps students develop authentic and robust resumes that stand out to future colleges and employers.
The school uses VEX Robotics kits that, under normal circumstances, would remain at school, as part of Mesrobian High School’s recently approved University of California Certified Robotics Curriculum. Now, Mesrobian is allowing a limited number of middle and high school students to borrow and take these kits home.
Students were chosen based on their level of interest, success the student has demonstrated in STEAM classes, anticipated college major, and other factors.
For example, Mesrobian High School student Karnig Boyadjian, who will be a Senior in the coming school year, joined the program as a co-teacher. Karnig was a natural fit for the Distance Robotics Club because of his interest and experience in engineering as well as cybersecurity. Karnig won first place in the science fair when he built a two-wheeled self-balancing robot, which demonstrated a feedback control loop and applications of micro-controllers and software code.
In addition, last summer, Karnig represented Mesrobian High School in a Cybersecurity competition through the Armenian Youth Federation Juniors (AYF Jrs) Montebello Chapter. “As part of the AYF Juniors Cybersecurity team, I identified and improved vulnerabilities in three different operating systems within the competition time box using various approaches and techniques. This led to the gold tier placement in the state rounds of the Air Force Association Cyberpariot Cybersecurity Competition. The team scored higher than Air Force and Navy teams in the gold tier and almost tied to JROTC teams, allowing the team to make it to semi-finals,” Karnig explained.
Principal Ghoogasian has done extensive work in the areas of gifted and highly gifted education. He is a member of the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) and Professional Teaching certificate programs at UCI Division of Continuing Education. He has trained parents, students, educators, and administrators with backgrounds ranging from early childhood education through college and university instruction.
Before the Distance Robotics Club was formed, Andrew was featured as a semi-finalist on the Disney+ Original Series “Shop Class.” Andrew is also the great-grandson of one of Armenian Mesrobian School’s founders, Vagarshak Dilanian.
Armenian Mesrobian School, established in 1965, is fully accredited from Preschool through High School by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and is the nation’s first Armenian Elementary School. The college preparatory High School curriculum is certified to the University of California. Mesrobian School includes Ron and Goharik Gabriel Preschool (which serves students 2-5 years old), Elementary, Middle School and a college preparatory High School on the same campus.
A major convenience for parents who may have children at multiple ages, Mesrobian offers a unique perspective and opportunity for students, teachers, and parents to grow together, and for students to get the attention and nurturing they need to be successful in school and in life. The school offers transportation from the Pasadena/Greater San Gabriel Valley, Glendale and Orange County areas.
Mesrobian’s Alumni Network and Mentorship Program connects students with over five decades of alumni who have distinguished themselves in fields as diverse as education, science, media arts, business, medicine, music, law, dentistry, nursing, chiropractic, politics, marketing, engineering, veterinary medicine, psychology, culinary, graphic design, and more.
Every day is an Open House at Mesrobian School! If you are interested in scheduling a campus visit or enrolling your child, please contact the school at (562) 699-2057 or (323) 723-3181, or email [email protected] Follow the Armenian Mesrobian School Facebook Page for latest updates.