Major STEM Academy

Major STEM Academy (MSA) is a community-based nonprofit 501c(3) organization focusing on STEM learning, leadership development, career development & mentorship.

Current major activities including FIRST Technical Challenge robotics competition, STEM mentoring & learning, and general project-based learning activities.

MSA was founded in 2018 and its initial focus & service area is Arcadia, California and its surrounding communities.

Mission: Using science & technology to create a better world!

Vision: Help young generations to acquire knowledge and develop skills in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, communication, collaboration, and leadership through doing actual design, development, and implementation.




2023-2024 Season

Both our teams Beta Rocks and Space Rocks got new members for the uniuqe season. Both teams will continue to compete in the C1C2 League 

2022-2023 Season

A new FTC team Beta Rocks was formed officially on August 28, 2022. Space Rocks team will help on mentoring Beta Rocks team.

Beta Rocks will work side by side with Space Rocks to compete in Southern California C1C2 League -

2022 Community Outreach / Open House / Summer Camp

All Space Rocks team members and coached are committed to initiate the biggest ever community outreach effort in order to recruit and train 8th-10th students via two summer camp sessions.

The strategic objective is for Space Rocks team to pass them knowledge, skills, and experience to younger students while all members are raising seniors. 

The eventual goal is to recruit 10-12 students and form a sister Rocks team so that Space Rocks team can work alongside with the sister team throughout the 2022-2023 season and potentially co-execute community outreach effort during 2023 Summer.

2021-2022 Season

Space Rocks team took full charge of this season and enjoyed the whole season by exploring various ideas via 5 major iterations - one major iteration per meet.

2020-2021 Season

Space Rocks team continued its meetings over Zoom during the season with the minimal number of physical meetings to build and test robots. 

The team advanced to LA Championship virtual competition.

2019-2020 Season

The team changed its name to Space Rocks.

During the final Inter League Tournament, Space Rocks team was part of the winning alliance, won Innovate Award, and advanced  to LA Championship tournament for the 1st time.

Captain Charles and co-captain Shawn were nominated as Dean's Semi-finalists.

2018-2019 Season

Major STEM Academy launched the first education program - Rocks Robotics Club. 

Rocks team is a first year FTC team (rookie team) consisting of a group of middle school students who are passionate about robots, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Team Space Rocks was started by coach Simon Pei in early September 2018, with his children Charles and Catherine, and three other members.

Creation and growth

On September 8, the team was officially created at the FTC 2018 kickoff event in Monrovia High School. Although the team members had no previous experience with FIRST competitions, they quickly started to learn how to work with REV parts and made initial designs. The team also grew in size as more members joined the team.


The robot competed in all of the League meets, allowing the team to gain lots of experience, make numerous modifications, and develop better strategies. Since the initial design, we’ve made many changes to the robot. In the end, the improvements helped Team Rocks to rank 4th overall.

Community outreach

On January 17, Charles, Jennifer, Shannon and Shawn, along with coach Simon, presented at a science fair at Arroyo Vista Elementary School of South Pasadena. The presentation covered the basics of FTC and the team’s robot development history. It hopefully inspired many young elementary students.

Future plans

In the future, our team plans to meet regularly to learn Android Studio, Java, 3D modeling and printing.