For giving STEM an after-school boost
Engineering for Kids founder and CEO Dori Roberts didn’t think of herself as good at math and science until a chemistry teacher challenged her and gave her confidence, leading to a successful first career as a high school technology teacher. At the Virginia school where she worked for six years, Roberts grew the technology club from eight students to 180 and saw the power of engaging students in STEM subjects through fun, hands-on activities. When parents began clamoring for her to develop after-school and summer programs, she saw a business opportunity. By 2012, she had sold her first franchise. Today there are more than 140 locations in 33 states and 23 countries, and she continues to develop new lessons that take students ages 4-14 from outer space (“Mission to Mars”) to the depths of the sea (“Making Waves”). Her fastest-growing program segment (“Junior Engineers”) is geared toward kids ages 4 to 6.