Russ Bradford has been with Lake Tahoe School since June of 2010. Russ graduated from the University of Vermont with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He worked for Hewlett-Packard Company right after college and eventually left to start his own software business. He’d promised himself that he would teach at some point, so after running his business for 30+ years he took a job at the Webb Schools in Claremont, CA as director of academic technology. After that he returned to Incline Village and consulted for several years, then took his current position as director of technology at Lake Tahoe School. Russ enjoys skiing, backpacking and golfing.

Russ teaches all grade levels save for PreK 3. His MakerSpace classes are high energy, challenging, and incredibly fun. Mr. Bradford believes the best teaching comes from doing, sohe rarely spends more than five minutes talking and the rest of the time just helping students work their way through whatever challenge he has set before them. Students getto learn programming, woodworking, engineering, even knot tying. Students work with robots, quadcopters, hand tools, power tools (with supervision), digital cameras, and a slew of other tools and projects. In the spring kids make paper rockets which they launch and watch soar over a hundred feet. The class involves competitions and engineering challenges such a building bridges out of relatively weak materials, requiring careful thought and application of principals of physics and just good old common sense.

Middle school students get to choose from a wide variety of classes, from small business to computer aided design (CAD) to programming to digital photography and several others. The small business class provides the students the opportunity to run their own businesses, writing business plans, presenting their concepts to investors from the community in our annual LTS SharkTank, then executing the plan and sharing the profits. In CAD class students design several projects, culminating with each student designing their own bungalow style house. All of Mr. Bradford’s classes are geared toward engineering and problem solving. His classes reinforce what the students learn in their other classes, requiring lots of math, writing, reading, outlining, money skills, planning and more. One of the more popular activities in the lower school is Meatball City, where students build a cardboard city, yet are required to purchase the materials using play money. This gives the kids a chance to make change, weigh the value of what they are purchasing against its’ cost and essentially engage in commerce.

Students in the lower grades visit MakerSpace once a week, in the upper grades Mr. Bradford’s electives meet 4 times a week.