Mr. Taiowa Donovan: Empowering Students to be Future Game Changers
Mr. Taiowa Donovan: Empowering Students to be Future Game Changers
From working side-by-side and behind the scenes with our robotics and engineering students, to inspiring and building their leadership and problem-solving skills, Mr. Taiowa Donovan, Robotics Program Director at American Heritage Schools, Palm Beach Campus, has provided a space for students to flourish. Mr. Donovan encourages students to express their ideas, be passionate about innovating, and be willing to take risks to test the boundaries of technology.
Every day Mr. Donovan brings his professional knowledge and unmatched enthusiasm for STEM to everything he does, from mentoring students to organizing the robotic team tournament logistics. He is a role model for all our students.
Beginnings at American Heritage Schools
Mr. Donovan joined American Heritage Schools more than 10 years ago. After his previous experience as the Summer Program Director of Engineering and Robotics at LeadAmerica (part of Envision EMI), he was interested in continuing his passion for robotics and engineering at AHS. 
The first step was to form a robotics club in 2012 with a group of middle school students, followed by starting AHS’s very successful first Robotics Summer Camp right after. By the fall of 2014, Mr. Donovan had founded the High School Robotics Program along with the competition team. 
First Awards as High School Robotics Program Director
The first competition the Robotics Team had was at the 2015 South Florida Regional and Orlando Regional Competitions; they were awarded the Highest Rookie Seed Award and The Rookie All-Star Award which qualified them for their first World Robotics Championship invitation! Each year the program has been increasingly successful, garnering a multitude of awards and recognitions for the Team.
Partnership with LexisNexis and HPCC Systems
One of Mr. Donovan’s main accomplishments, in addition to starting the robotics program at American Heritage Schools, Palm Beach Campus, is establishing a partnership with LexisNexis and HPCC Systems, a leader in providing essential information to help customers across different industries assess, predict, and manage risk. Mr. Donovan states, “Since 2016 we have partnered with the HPCC Systems Academic Program. One of our goals is to help increase student interest in STEM topics and pursue STEM-type careers in an effort to advance cutting-edge innovation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.”
Featured Guest Speaker and Awards
Mr. Donovan has also been invited to be a featured guest speaker at HPCC Systems Summit Community Day events and the LexisNexis/HPCC Systems Podcast. 
In 2018, LexisNexis and HPCC Systems honored Taiowa Donovan with the Community Recognition Award for the innovative use of HPCC Systems in the community. Recipients of this award are community members outside of RELX and LexisNexis Risk Solutions group, who demonstrate innovative use of HPCC Systems in research, solutions, and open-source projects. They are strong advocates of the platform across their organization, including academia and business, contributing time, knowledge, and talent back to the HPCC Systems Open Source Community.
He also received the 2021 HPCC Systems Mentor badge in recognition of the time given in addition to regular work commitments, the knowledge shared, and the support given to the interns in providing guidance and direction towards the successful completion of their open-source projects. 
This year, at the 2022 FIRST Robotics South Florida Regional Robotics Competition, Mr. Donovan was presented with the prestigious Woodie Flowers Award as the lead mentor and founder of Robotics Team 5474, The Wyld Stallyns. This award honors MIT Professor / FIRST Robotics Co-Founder Woodie Flowers and his contribution to engineering, education, and communication.
Mr. Taiowa Donovan: Empowering Students to be Future Game Changers
The Woodie Flowers Award is based on how the mentor inspired each member of the team in the following ways:
  • Level of student participation 
  • Creativity of effort
  • Clear explanation of mathematical, scientific, and engineering concepts
  • Demonstration of enthusiasm for science and engineering
  • Encouragement to work on projects as a team effort
  • Inspiration to use problem-solving skills
  • Inspiration to become an effective communicator
  • Motivation through communication.
Mr. Donovan has also been the recipient of the AHS Golden Apple Award in Education on various occasions for "going above and beyond" to make AHS even better and providing outstanding service in education. 
Tai Donovan was also a competitor on Discovery Channel’s Battlebots in 2018. He was part of Team KurTrox Robotix with the Robot Axe Backwards. 
Robotics Team 5474, The Wyld Stallyns, Accomplishments
Under his guidance, Robotics Team 5474, The Wyld Stallyns, have had a steady rise to success, accomplishing the following:
2022 Las Vegas Regional 
  • Industrial Design Award sponsored by General Motors
2022 South Florida Regional 
  • Woodie Flowers Finalist Award for Taiowa Donovan
2019 South Florida Regional 
  • Gracious Professionalism Award sponsored by Johnson & Johnson
  • Safety Award sponsored by Underwriters Laboratories
2019 Orlando Regional
  • Regional Engineering Inspiration Award sponsored by NASA
2019 Palmetto Regional
  • Entrepreneurship Award sponsored by Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, and Byers
2018 Roebling Division
  • Championship Subdivision Finalist
2018 South Florida Regional
  • Gracious Professionalism Award sponsored by Johnson & Johnson
2018 Greater Pittsburgh Regional
  • Regional Finalists
2018 Palmetto Regional
  • Regional Winners
2017 Brazos Valley Regional
  • Regional Engineering Inspiration Award sponsored by NASA
2016 South Florida Regional
  • Regional Finalists
2015 Orlando Regional
  • Rookie All-Star Award
  • Highest Rookie Seed
About Taiowa Donovan - Robotics Program Director
  • Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Certified Design and Modeling (DM) /Robotics and Automation Instructor (AR) /Introduction to Engineering Design (IED)
  • Introduction to Robotics Honors I Instructor
  • Robotics Honors II Instructor
  • FIRST Robotics® Competition Team #5472 Coach/Founding Mentor