Learning Fun 101′s owners: Shelley Franklin, Viola DeGal and JoAnn Nolte
Learning Fun 101 started out with JoAnn Nolte and Shelley Franklin’s passion to make learning fun for their own children. They were introduced to the world of LEGO® Robotics through a competitive event called FIRST LEGO League in which students are given real-world engineering challenges and then build a LEGO-based robot to complete tasks on a thematic playing surface.
After spending three years as a coach/mentor for her son’s LEGO team, JoAnn decided to venture out and teach classes. Parents were so excited about the prospect of having their children learn science, math and engineering concepts while “playing” with LEGOs that classes quickly filled up. Shelley’s son was in one of these early classes and, despite his learning differences, found success in LEGO robotics.
A little less than a year later, JoAnn asked Shelley to be her partner in creating Learning Fun 101. The concept allowed the moms to turn their love for learning and their educational skills into a business that now offers classes, camps, workshops and parties for children who love LEGOs and technology.
JoAnn and Shelley started Learning Fun 101 on a shoestring budget by offering classes to the local homeschooling community and camps at local community centers. JoAnn’s mother, who is their accountant, and Shelley’s husband, who is an engineer, have helped grow the business to new levels. The business is now doing great and is at the beginning stages for exponential growth, according to the company founders.
2010 marks their 2nd year of hosting LEGO Robotics Camps and their 5th year of LEGO Robotics classes.
JoAnn has been an educator for over 20 years and has been instrumental in the development of several home schooling programs in the Williamson County area. She has volunteered as the Director and Facilities Coordinator for the W.A.T.C.H. Home School Co-op, and served on the Board of Directors for United in His Love and for Christian Home Ministries.
Shelley brings with her over 20 years of experience as an educator in both the private and public settings. With her extensive knowledge and a Masters Degree in Education, she has created fun educational programs for Learning Fun 101′s students. As a graduate of UT and having lived in the greater Austin area for twenty years, she brings with her knowledge of our local community and educational needs.
Viola has worked over 30 years in corporate business, where she was most recently a business manager, financial contract manager and office manager for Rolling M Trailers. Most of her career has centered on customer service and organizational management.
I just want to let you know Ethan had a blast at the LEGO workshop and hopes to do a camp in the summer!