Our History

Ashburn Robotics was established by Mark Vanderlyn in 2006 after moving to Ashburn, Virginia. Mark had been involved in FIRST Lego League (FLL) since 2001, when he was an assistant coach with the Capital Girls of Hunter’s Woods Elementary School. But, while Fairfax County had a number of school based FLL teams, Loudoun County did not. After he moved to Ashburn, he could not find a team for his younger daughter, and thus Ashburn Robotics was born.

In 2006, Ashburn Robotics was only a single team of three girls. It has steadily grown every year since. It now encompasses teams in both FLL and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC), providing a nurturing environment of mentorship and encouraging students to continue with STEM education even after they age out of the FLL program.

Ashburn Robotics was founded on the idea that knowledge should be gained through investigation, discovery and reflection. With that in mind, the teams work hard to incorporate first-hand learning, visiting subject area experts, working to build prototypes of their ideas and helping other teams along the way. Ashburn Robotics is proud to support a culture of scholastic sharing and mentorship, helping teams work together to share their knowledge and experiences.

“Sometimes ‘failure is not an option’ and your greatest asset is your ability to think outside the box. If I can teach our children any one thing it would be the World desperately needs problem solvers. Kids and adults who can take a idea, form it into a vision and make it a reality to improve all our lives on earth.”Coach Mark

From it’s origins as a single team running out of Mark Vanderlyn’s basement to a group of teams across Ashburn VA, Ashburn Robotics has worked to help children solve real world problems with the resources they have at hand. As Coach Mark says, “Sometimes ‘failure is not an option’ and your greatest asset is your ability to think outside the box. If I can teach our children any one thing it would be the World desperately needs problem solvers. Kids and adults who can take a idea, form it into a vision and make it a reality to improve all our lives on earth.”