Engineering For Kids' Ron Hoagland was featured in an azcentral article. Ron talks about how he got involved with Engineering For Kids and how he helps to improve the local community.
Aaron Rop, The Republic | azcentral.com
A summer camp in Arizona might sound like a long day under the sun with the reward of exhaustion and sweat-stained clothes.
With Ron Hoagland's summer camp, though, Southeast Valley kids can have fun designing video games, building robots or simply learning how the world works.
Hoagland is the owner and director of Engineering for Kids' East Valley division. Engineering for Kids was started by CEO Dori Roberts, a former high-school teacher, who developed an after-school program into a successful STEM program for all demographics.
Roberts started franchising her business in 2009, Hoagland says, and Hoagland bought the first franchise in Arizona in July last year. The program is in 26 states and four countries.
Hoagland says he always wanted to own his own business and have it be positive, bringing something new to the community. Coming from a sales and marketing background, he says he didn't know much about STEM or engineering, but he did research on education in the U.S. compared with other countries and found there was a need to spark kids' interest in engineering because U.S. public schools are lagging.
"Technology is moving so fast now," Hoagland said. "So, if we don't get these kids going now, it's scary to think where this country might be in 20 to 30 years. … We've been on top as the world's leader of innovation for decades and decades, but that's not guaranteed, especially if we are not addressing the education situation in the U.S. Schools are cutting back on programs all the time, so there is a need for people to come in and provide that opportunity."