Local STEM Program MakerKids Leaside Turns 1 Amidst Pandemic
Toronto, ON, September 3, 2020 – MakerKids, the first maker space for kids in North America, pivoted during the pandemic to offer its popular STEM programs virtually to local communities during the pandemic and subsequent education crisis. The organization is preparing for a Back To School like never before.
“We’ve had an overwhelming demand for our virtual programs throughout the pandemic, in part because of the strong social aspect where kids connect with other kids in their community; and the incredible leadership by our highly skilled instructors at keeping kids engaged. In other words, it’s hands off for parents.” Says Jennifer Turliuk, CEO of MakerKids, which focuses on using Robotics, Coding and Minecraft to teach kids STEM in a fun way, allowing them to choose projects of interest to achieve various skills within its diverse curriculum. The organization has seen a strong demand for its new virtual offerings, resulting in the servicing of hundreds of families across the city, and the hiring of more than a dozen new instructors to support its growing, online learning platform.
The key to the program’s success has been keeping the kids actively participating in learning and giving them a sense of social community with minimal involvement from parents. As a leader in tech education for kids, MakerKids’ expertise is in teaching kids how to troubleshoot with a positive approach. Tech issues are considered fun problems to solve and failure is part of the process. The virtual programs have been most popular for kids in grades one through five so far, but the company is seeing demand up to grade eight for online classes.
“Our Leaside location is celebrating its first year having faced unprecedented challenges in launching a small business,” says Aimee Savard, owner of the MakerKids Leaside location which turns one this month. “Our incredible team of local university grads and students worked hard and adapted quickly to remote teaching. They took feedback from clientele and implemented dynamic improvements, modifying services and creating new ones where needed. Thanks to a nimble team, a supportive community, and our awesome programs, we are heading into year two.”