The philosophy on which we operate our Robotics Engineering program, from a mentoring perspective, goes well beyond simply working on ways to further inspire our student team members. The approach we have taken is very focused on enabling problem solving learning skills by “doing.” 

As mentors, it is extremely important for us not to only share information, but always to challenge students to become true “Critical Thinkers,” then allow students to acquire “innovator” skills by trial and error; all while ensuring a total focus on professionalism along with lab & tool safety responsibilities.

“If you think it, you can make it happen is one of the many philosophies that I personally work hard to ingrain into our students’ thought processes. While we always want to excel in competitive environments, our true responsibility as student mentors is to encourage, motivate, stimulate, and create a powerful environment for positive learning experiences. When this happens, students’ minds and motivations go into overdrive, and then there are no limits to how quickly they learn. Our environment is all about creating student growth by way of mentoring innovative thinking with a focus on strong student team work ethics.”

Mr. Massimo Salafia

Engineering Department Director/2383 Lead Mentor

Robotics Engineering Program

American Heritage School

All of our Ninjineers Robotics Program Mentors share this same philosophy; always knowing that students learn more from gaining hands on experience and “Doing.” Enabling students to strengthen their critical thinking, innovation, teamwork, work ethics, and learning skills is something that will benefit them in all areas of life. Our approach is just an extension of the American Heritage School learning environment; something we as mentors are very proud to foster.

THe Mentors

Massimo Salafia


Originally earned his engineering degree at the Engineering Trade School in Friedberg and continued his studies as a mechanical engineer at Pheiffer GmbH, Faust GmbH, and Gassella GmbH in Frankurt, Germany. Mr. Salafia has numerous intellectual patents on mechanical devices. He is the Pre-Engineering Prototyping Lab Manager and teaches the Honors Engineering Design and Development class of Project Lead the Way. During the summer, Mr. Salafia, is the Head Director of the Robotics Summer Program, where along with the students of his Robotics team, facilitates a youth based STEM camp. Mr. Salafia is also Lead Mentor of FIRST Robotics Team 2383, the Ninjineers, since it’s foundation in 2009.

Nancy Salafia


Nancy Salafia is a lead mentor for Team 2383, and works as the Robotics and Pre-Engineering Office Coordinator at American Heritage School. She has multiple years in teaching, as well as business experience. She earned her degree from School for Business and Economics in Büdingen, Germany and her Bachelor in Business and Economics from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Friedberg, Germany. In her past experiences she has worked as the Principal Office Assistant under the general direction of the Master Municipal Clerk in the City Clerk’s Office at the City of Plantation.

John Allsworth


Graduating from American Heritage School - Plantation with the Class of 2010, Mr. Allsworth is the electrical mentor for Team 2383. Pursuing an interest in engineering, he went to the University of Miami where he received his BS in mechanical engineering. After graduating, Mr. Allsworth returned to Heritage as the head Summer Camp Director for our FIRST Lego League program yearly. He then went on to pursue his masters in mechanical engineering at the University of Utah, before becoming a Lab Technician for the Pre-Engineering Prototyping Lab, a mentor for Team 2383.