Today we get to chat with Erin from iCode Austin and all about the programs iCode has to get kids working with their hands and brains. I got to stop by an afternoon class at iCode and I was blown away by these kids. They were building robots, making things fly with switches – I kept saying “wow!” over and over again! Enjoy the read and be sure to sign up for a free trial!
Hi Erin! We’re excited to learn more about you!
I’m Erin Romal, the iCode Austin Campus Director (pictured on left). I grew up in a small town an hour from Austin in the Hill Country named Burnet, TX. I first started working with children six years ago for Burnet CISD, working one on one with sped students. We moved to Austin four years ago when my husband Zachary took a job as a Senior Accountant. We have two kiddos – Lillian is 6 years old and Welsey is 4 months old. In our spare time we like to spend time with our family, lay by the pool on the weekend, or visit our families beach house in the summer.
Can you tell us a bit more about iCode?
iCode is a STEM education campus that offers fun, instructor-led classes for kids covering topics that include coding, robotics, programming drones, and even digital arts. The iCode franchise started in the Dallas area in 2015 and has now expanded nationwide with around 40 locations. iCode’s founder, Abid Abedi, recognized a gap in STEM education left by traditional schools. After some research, he realized that this was a big issue that will only worsen as technology continues to evolve and the demand for skilled technical workers grows.
In order for our children to remain competitive in tomorrow’s workforce, they’ll require technical skills that are likely not being offered at their current schools. iCode seeks to fill this education gap through its engaging, hands-on approach to STEM learning. Each class is structured with an instructor-led lesson, followed by an activity designed to reinforce that activity.
iCode also emphasizes soft skills through collaborative classroom learning. In addition to the technical skills students will learn, they’ll also develop skills like teamwork, project management, critical thinking, conceptualization, communication, and much more.
iCode sounds so awesome. Where do you see the business in the next five years?
We hope to continue to get the word out about the importance of STEM education for today’s students and work with more Austin kids to set them up for a successful future. We also hope to reach more girls through our Girl Scout program offerings.
What do you love about having a business in Austin?
Austin is such a unique city with a lot to offer its residence. Local parents put a high value on education and imaginative thinking that made iCode just seem like the perfect fit. We love working with all of the families in our area and watching their children get excited about STEM learning.
What are some of your biggest challenges you are currently facing within your business?
Just getting the word out there! Once parents realize we’re here and see the variety of programs we offer, they love us! But unfortunately, many are still unaware that we’re here!
Let’s talk Austin favorites:
Favorite Small Business: Hayley Cakes & Cookies has the best frosted sugar cookies (I could eat a dozen of them).
Favorite restaurant: Fogo De Chao
Favorite coffee place: I love Summer Moon Coffee Shop
Favorite place to grab drinks: Parlor and Yard has a great atmosphere for drinks and to socialize. It’s located on West 6th Street.
What are your best time-saving tips/resources as a small business owner?
Every morning outline your daily tasks and agenda. Always set goals and strive to give 110% with whatever you do.
Any promotions or events that you want to share with South Austin Moms?
We like to partner with local schools to give back to the community. We offer a Parents Night Out (Gaming Nights) where all proceeds go to the PTA of that school. Join us for the next one on October 8th!