About Us

CONOR MCGANN, founder

I started Wizbots because I saw that robotics could be made accessible and meaningful to kids and that this could transform their perspectives on learning.

Conor has been a practicing engineer for over 20 years. He received his Bachelors in Mathematics and Engineering from Trinity College Dublin (Ireland) and his PhD in Computer Science from that same institution. He was a founder and CEO of a software company after college, and then moved on to join the Internet wave in Austin, Texas. He got into robotics when he joined NASA in 2002 and has never looked back. Since then he has been an active researcher in the robotics community, having developed cutting edge technologies that have been used on Mars Rovers (while he worked at NASA), undersea autonomous vehicles (at Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute) and personal robots (at Willow Garage). Conor lives with his wife and 2 children in San Carlos, CA.

KATIE CRISWELL, community development czar

Wizbots makes my job very easy (don't tell the boss) and enjoyable because not only is the program exciting and fun for kids, but parents and educators immediately see the quality and enrichment opportunities that it offers to both boys AND girls.

Katie has a BA in English from UCLA and has worked in the Silicon Valley high tech sector in product management and development as well as software training and sales. She enjoyed working with a wide range of people from engineers, developers, sales reps, marketing pros, and customers to ensure that a quality product was created and delivered. As a board member for the San Carlos Educational Foundation, she saw how budget cuts had reduced much of the enrichment that schools used to be able to offer their students. Now, as the Community Liaison for Wizbots, Katie's background and skills easily translate when contacting and working with new and potential customers for our after school programs. As a mom of two active boys, Katie especially enjoys being involved with a company that provides such great enrichment for kids. In fact, she became interested in Wizbots after her own son had such an amazing experience with the program!

LISA MCGANN, director of marketing and customer happiness

Wizbots is not only a fun and exciting place to work, but its mission to provide a service for a greater good also provides a wonderful sense of purpose.

Though Lisa earned a BA in Biology from Duke University, she entered the world of high tech start-ups right after school and never looked back. She loves start-ups because they are dynamic, challenging, and afford the opportunity to wear lots of different hats. Her experience includes management (teams, accounts, programs, projects), marketing, pre-sales, customer service, training, writing, and interaction design. Lisa has been instrumental in seeing several start-ups through their "firsts" - processes, programs, products, etc. As a mom, Lisa finds extra fulfillment in being a part of Wizbots where the programs are designed to provide an amazing learning experience for kids, hers included!

ROXIE EDWARDS, director of operations

I joined Wizbots because I believe that learning while playing is the best way to develop critical thinking - a skill that will last a lifetime.

Roxie has spent the last 30 years as an IT Professional. She spent the first years of her career at McKesson Corporation in San Francisco as a program developer and Project Manager. Later she went to work at eBay and PayPal in San Jose as a Project Manager, where she applied her experience to multiple projects and supported the Project Management Office. Roxie came to Wizbots where she uses her extensive organizational skills to respond to the day-to-day coordination effort between Wizbots and the locations they serve. She enjoys entertaining for her family and friends, home renovation and gardening. She is married and lives with her husband in Redwood City, CA.

BEN BOWDON, area director

There's nothing more exhilarating for students or teachers then when learning is driven by innate curiosity. Wizbots has designed its program and experience to spark this type of learning!

After relocating to San Diego with his wife and son in the summer of 2016, Ben joined Wizbots as the Area Director for the company's expansion into the region. Before moving, he enjoyed an eighteen year career in elementary schools, including as a fifth grade teacher, camp director, and various leadership roles in administration. Ben is thrilled to join Wizbots because of its robust curriculum and the talented people leading its exciting growth!

ALEJANDRO VILLAMARIN, director of engineering

The thrilling idea of participating on a project where kids could learn about the wonders of programming and robotics immediately got me. Being part of Wizbots gives a great sense of helping in this educational purpose.

A big fan of technology from early childhood, Alejandro completed an MS in Computer Science and started working in the R&D IoT fields, working with all types of hardware and communication protocols. He then decided to move into industry to solve "real world" problems, and he created a start-up company. While the start-up was not a huge success, Alejandro learned a lot in the process such as how small businesses like Wizbots operate well. He is always striving to improve the engineering process with best practices he's learned from working with other colleagues, while trying to have fun at the same time!

LEANN KOVAR, customer happiness agent

Working with our customers, I have the daily privilege of hearing how much our students love Wizbots. As a mom myself, I know that a program that combines learning valuable skills with creativity and FUN is invaluable.

LeAnn has always had a penchant for all things creative, and earned her BA in Music from Cal State East Bay. Taking a detour into IT technical support gave her extensive experience in troubleshooting, training and supporting customers. LeAnn has always had a passion for learning, and as a parent this means that finding high quality, engaging educational experiences for her kids is a priority. In addition to all manner of creative hobbies, LeAnn loves spending time with her family, hiking and reading.

ALYSSA GATTO, marketing guru

Working for Wizbots made me realize how much I wish a program like this was available when I was in school – kids today have all the fun!

Alyssa has led marketing programs large and small for Fortune 500 companies and start-ups alike. She’s accomplished this across various industries including technology, retail, and hospitality, though she simply cannot choose a favorite area to work in. That's because no matter the challenge, her passion guides her toward building programs from the ground up using insight, creativity, and ingenuity. In fact, Alyssa prides herself on not only thinking outside the box, but running screaming from it. In her free time, she attempts to balance an active lifestyle with her husband and two dogs with her love of travel, food, and living life to the fullest.

CHANEL MCFARLAND

I love Wizbots because it promotes exploration of the imagination and self discovery.

Chanel has worked in the field of Education for over four years. Her passion in equipping students with the proper knowledge to become self sufficient, successful adults has led her to a rewarding position that works with developmentally challenged students. As an Instructional Assistant, she has been teaching Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, and Social Behavior to students in grades 6-8. Chanel is also earning a degree in Psychology. She is happy to be a member of the Wizbots team, and eager to embark on the journey of self discovery with her young inventors.

Ethan Lowell

I joined Wizbots because I love STEM and LEGO, and Wizbots is the perfect combination of both.

Ethan, a senior at Los Altos High School and a lifelong LEGO enthusiast, has been working with Wizbots since early 2015. When he’s not having fun teaching students how to build and program LEGO robots with Wizbots, Ethan likes to read novels, run cross country and travel around the Bay Area (and the world!)

Fredy Lopez

Engaging in learning can never be forgotten.

Fredy is a student at San Jose State University majoring in Physics. He has worked with kids for most of his college career, and he loves teaching and helping kids discover the magic they can make with just a couple of LEGO pieces and a laptop. An enthusiast of seeing robots battle each other, Fredy continues to learn new tips and tricks and is excited to pass them along to his Wizbots students!

Joshua Musial

I joined Wizbots to explore the world of robotic engineering and to discover all of the fun things that lie just beyond the imagination.

Joshua is a Behavior Management Technician (BMT) while earning a math degree and teaching credential. As an instructional assistant, he has been teaching math to students in grades K-12. Joshua has also been a recording artist/record producer for twenty years now and has toured the world on stage, radio, and magazine. His interest in design and repair is based on feng shui. Working with youth builds bridges from the past to our future and supports the relationship while they develop.

Judy Cronin

I joined Wizbots because I enjoy helping children learn in a creative environment.

Judy has a Bachelor of Technology from Massey University in New Zealand. She has taught Art-in-Action and helped with small groups in the classroom for many years. As a mother of three girls, Judy has lots of experience as a Girl Scout Troop Leader, helping the girls work on various projects and encouraging them to expand their horizons. She believes that project-based, hands-on learning, and being able to express their creative talents is important for kids. She enjoys children of all ages and engaging them in new experiences. Judy is a long time resident of Redwood City who enjoys tennis, ceramics, orienteering and geocaching.

KEITH DORAIS

Wizbots allows me to share my passion for creativity and engineering with kids, in a way that is both instructive and fun for everyone!

Keith is a student at Santa Clara University studying Mechanical Engineering. He is from San Carlos and has been a part of Wizbots since the idea for it was first created, back when Keith was in 7th grade. Back then, Keith was being taught how to create robots and express his creativity, and now he is able to give back to others! Keith loves to work on his car and regularly designs and builds his own projects. Every camp brings new experiences, and Keith is excited to learn new things and show others just how awesome robotics is.

Peter Bugos

Just like LEGO, each time we create, learn, or experience something new, we build our beautiful minds piece by piece.

Peter is currently a student at Gonzaga University pursuing a Mechanical Engineering Degree and a Philosophy Minor. He has been part of Wizbots for 4 summers now. Peter has been involved in many clubs and other companies that deal with creating and building robots. He wants to share his passion of STEM with the many generations to come.

Sydney Salzman

In the 2010 Winter Olympics, Gold Medalist ski racer Julia Mancuso said, “Embrace your inner princess.” So I wear bedazzled safety glasses because princesses can build robots too.

Sydney is a student at The University of Arizona, working towards a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture. In her senior year of high school she was captain of the Carlmont/Woodside FIRST robotics team, and Public Relations Lead her sophomore and junior years. Sydney worked in almost all areas of the team, and found creative ways to improve team imagery online, in person, and on the robot. She hopes to improve female involvement in STEM activities by acting as a role model to young girls interested in robotics. Outside of robotics, her interests include arts and crafts, snowboarding, dance, and slack-lining.

What kids say about Wizbots...

David, 5th Grade
In Wizbots you have choices.
Oriana, 3rd Grade
I like Wizbots because it gives me a chance to brainstorm ideas.
Cecile, 4th Grade
Wizbots Rules!
Daniel, 3rd Grade
I like Wizbots because it’s great building robots of your choice!
Jillian, 4th Grade
I like Wizbots because I get to do fun creating after school!
Kasea, 3rd Grade
I like Wizbots because we get to do a robot that we want and we get to make our decisions.
Nicholas, 3rd Grade
I like Wizbots because I made a bunch of cool stuff.
Yanis, 4th Grade
Wizbots Rocks!
Jack, 4th Grade
I think Wizbots is better than Mama Luigi!
Alex, 3rd Grade
I like Wizbots because I like building and creating stuff.
Brenna, 8th Grade
It's a great creative outlet and you get to learn alot of new stuff.
Gracie, 8th Grade
It helps prepare me for what I am interested in, because I am into technology and programming.

People who work at Wizbots have just as much fun as the students who attend our programs! We get to inspire kids and play with, talk about and think about cool robots all the time! We're a quirky, laid-back bunch of folks from around the Bay Area that share a common belief - robotics infused with imagination is an instantly engaging (and fun!) means to transform kids' perspectives on learning. If you see an open job opportunity you think you are well suited for, don't waste any time - drop us a line at jobs@wizbots.com to let us know why you're the best candidate.

Current Openings