R&D to Inspire Learning

Prototype new technologies for teaching and learning.Integrate CS across disciplines. Test emerging solutions in classrooms

Educational Technology Needs an Upgrade!

There are Needs

  • Tech in education has not achieved its full potential
  • Current uses of tech in K12 tend more toward drill-and-practice or consumption of content, vs project-based learning and creation of content
  • Many students lack access to CS and lab sciences
  • Teachers need release time to explore new tech, help creating lesson plans, and ideas for hands-on, minds-on activities

There are Opportunities

  • Strong interest from federal, state, corporate, and philanthropic sources has led to more funding for CS education projects than ever before
  • AI, Machine Learning, VR, and Data Science offerings engage students and prepare them for their future
  • Within NSF’s CISE Directorate, alone, funding levels for CS Research reflect ~11% increases annually

There are Consequences

  • Artificial Intelligence has societal consequences
  • Making machines do things that would be considered intelligent, if done by people, includes biases
  • Eliminating some jobs, creating new jobs
  • Human with computer vs. human without computer has advantage

Why Partner with Learningtech.org?


Learningtech.org’s R&D efforts in CS and EdTech are led by Ph.D. researchers whose lifetime careers in the field feature peer-reviewed publications and relationships with leading universities


With over two decades of successfully bringing technology to K12, Learningtech.org has extensive experience piloting and evaluating innovations with teachers and students


Learningtech.org consistently earns the GreatNonprofits Top-Rated award annually, based on 5-star evaluations and testimonials from our loyal clients

Nonprofit Status

Contributions to 501(c)(3) nonprofits are tax-deductible, making us more cost-effective than most for-profit organizations. Funding agencies value cooperation among nonprofits, universities, and K12


Learningtech.org’s goals are to help the education community — not to sell a product. R&D results are published, presented at conferences, and/or shared under Creative Commons licensing

Funding Access

Successful grant applications include San Mateo County STEAM programs for disadvantaged students and foster youth; Police Activity League for Title 1 schools; National Science Foundation (Stanford collaboration)

The real power of computing is in its ability to transform how we think and learn.
— Mark L. Miller, Ph.D.                       

This case study exemplifies how Learningtech.org partners with K12 schools and universities to conduct R&D, bringing leading edge Computer Science and related technologies to education. Here, we partnered with Stanford University and a half-dozen schools, with support from National Science Foundation, to investigate integrating coding into middle and high school biology classes.

LHR Demo

What it is

  • Prototype, inexpensive robot to pipette liquids
  • Cuvettes, pipettes, and 96-well plate
  • Arduino Mega, motors, and sensors
  • Downloadable laser-cut design

Integrating CS with Biotech

  • Student-programmable with blocks
  • For use in middle/high school
  • Combines computational thinking with lab science
  • Hands-on, NGSS-aligned, project-based experimentation

Code with Snap! Blocks

Pilot Studies

Pilot studies in middle and high school classrooms explored LHR technology. In some studies, students built similar robots using Lego parts, and explored layering and density. In other studies, students explored pipetting colorful designs and the relationship between salinity and krill longevity. High school students explored “fab lab” activities such as alternative LHR designs. Given a choice, girls tended to prefer working with LHR, but boys seemed to prefer building Lego vehicles.

Li E, Lam AT, Fuhrmann T, Erikson L, Wirth M, Miller ML, et al. (2022) DIY liquid handling robots for integrated STEM education and life science research. PLoS ONE 17(11): e0275688. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0275688

Middle School

McKinley Institute of Technology (Redwood City)

  • Students successfully built Lego pipette mechanisms
  • Students fascinated by layering and density activities

Ralston Middle School (Belmont)

  • Replicated McKinley study
  • Students enthusiastic about layering and density activities

Christa McAuliffe School (Saratoga)

  • Girls coded well plate designs in Snap!
  • 10 boys and 10 girls given choice of v2 LHR or Lego vehicles
  • All girls chose LHR; all boys chose Lego vehicles

DALL-E rendering of cuvettes showing layers of different density

96 well plate

High School

Design Tech High (Redwood Shores)

  • Two “Fab Lab” Intersession-weeks (15 hrs)
    • First week, some created non-LHR robots
    • Second week, most worked on LHR
    • Some built micro:bit variations
    • Others designed LHR improvements

Carlmont High BioTech Institute

  • Trials with early micro:bit version
  • Students learned MakeCode (not SNAP!)
  • Informed design of v2 LHR platform

Liquid Handling Robot was a Cool Tool

finalist in the 2021 Ed Tech Awards