My name is Carl Robbins, and I'm the owner of Built!, LLC. I'm a graduate of Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Va. ('96). I earned a BFA (concentration in painting) from East Carolina University ('02), and later a BA in Art History from UNC Wilmington ('08).
For nearly eight years I worked in the design department at the North Carolina Museum of History, Marbles Kids Museum, and the North Carolina Museum of Art before jumping into education.
I am currently a high school carpentry teacher within the Wake County Public School System and truly love teaching carpentry, the KING of all the trades, to my students. Besides the curriculum and hands-on learning that goes on in the woodshop, I go to great lengths in bringing real life experiences (local construction companies and apprenticeship programs) to my students whether it be in person or remote.
One such example of "going that extra mile" for my students was during the Fall of 2020 when all students were learning remotely. I, like every other teacher, was frustrated with not having kids in the classroom and knowing that despite them logging into the online class they were hardly paying attention. I'd think "What can I do?", "How can I teach carpentry online?" and "How can I separate myself from the other teachers and actually keep my students to not only log on but also keep them engaged?" The lectures, short demos in the woodshop, videos similar to a YouTuber, "fun" assignments... it just wasn't working. It wasn't enough. Teaching through the pandemic was stressful, but it did force me to roll up my sleeves and do some thinking outside the box.
My first breakthrough was contacting a local Lowes store here in Wake County to see if I could teach from their store. They had no problems saying yes. Keeping this a surprise to my students, I will never forget that first day when my first period students began logging into class and seeing me, their carpentry teacher, in a Lowes store surrounded by tools. One student quickly typed in the comments section "Field Trip!" When that first period ended, I knew I was onto something. I did two more classes at that particular Lowes store before taking these virtual field trips to a whole new level. I thought "How about going to an actual construction site?". I reached out to a few local construction companies, and it was Clancy & Theys that jumped on board bringing my students virtually to their project known as "Raleigh Crossing" in downtown Raleigh. That fall we had three wonderful field trips from the ground floor up!
Clancy & Theys loved the collaboration so much they wrote an article about the experience and posted it on their website. To read the article click here.
That's me on the right (blue mask) with Tyler Crum, an employee with Clancy & Theys, who served as our tour guide throughout the project "Raleigh Crossing" on three separate occasions.
I love teaching kids of all ages how to use some basic hand and power tools both correctly and safely, get creative, feel confident, and build things.
I'm married to my wife Cassie, also a teacher. Together we have three children: Emma (11), Kelly (8), and Fisher (5).