By Dana Jay, Reporter - bio
Two central Florida dads are trying to take their experience in the theme park and gaming industries and use it to give kids a jump start on some important skills.
Jeremy Scheinberg worked as a theme park engineer and Christopher Harden was a development director at the gaming company Electronic Arts.
“[Scheinberg] is bringing the storytelling from Disney and Universal and all the theme parks he's touched and I'm bringing the storytelling from game development,” Harden said.
They're using that experience and their love for science and engineering to create Trobo, a plush robot that tells stories about science, technology, engineering and math—or STEM-- to children between the ages of two and seven.
"The questions that kids have, there's a tremendous amount of science and engineering in those questions if it could just be explained to them in a way that is at their level and is fun and engaging that will be a lifelong learning that will carry with them forever," said Scheinberg, who noticed there are few toys on the market to teach STEM skills to very young children.
Children follow along on their tables as the Trobo reads an interactive story.
Right now, Scheinberg and Harden are running a Kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/trobo/trobo-the-storytelling-robot) campaign to raise money to produce the Trobo toys and stories.
"Trobo is really an Orlando product and we're really excited. It was born here and we hope the community will support us," Scheinberg said.
Scheinberg and Harden hope one day Trobo will answer questions for kids everywhere and the robot that was born in Orlando will give those children a jump on the skills they'll need later in life.
"They can find their own passion by relating to a Trobo and finding the stories that inspire them," Harden said.