How a local STEM education innovator is leading by example

When COVID pressed the pause button for Massachusetts K-12 students, Inventor STEM School stepped up to the plate.

“Was it foolhardy to go ahead with the launch mid-pandemic? Maybe, if you’re judging by some traditional metrics. But I’ve never been one for staying inside the box. Honestly, we never even seriously considered postponing. It’s just not the way we do things. And I think the results show that we made the right decision,” says Jessie Harris.

When Inventor STEM School opened its doors last September, it was probably the worst time in recent history to open any kind of business – much less an in-person enrichment program for kids. But Harris, Inventor’s head of US operations, is adamant that it was the right decision despite the long days and sleepless nights. “We teach creativity here,” says Harris. “We teach resilience. And, with the pandemic, kids needed more than ever to keep learning. So, we had to get started. We just needed to figure out how to make it work.”

“When the pandemic hit,” says Harris, “every parent’s first thought was, ‘How do I protect my child? How do I keep them safe?’ And then it was, ‘How do I keep them learning?’” A parent herself, Harris says her “most urgent job was to earn parents’ trust.” And then, according to the long-time educator and Babson MBA, it was essential to demonstrate to parents exactly what distinguishes Inventor’s STEM education programs from the rest of the pack. Based on what her customers are saying, it sounds like Harris and her team have hit the mark.

Talking to Inventor families, the same themes keep surfacing again and again. The school’s innovative and unique offerings that align perfectly with their kids’ interests. The experienced teachers that their children absolutely love. The friendly, caring staff. The clean, well-maintained, cheerful environment.

For Glorianne Niebuhr, “it was the personal, individual attention – to learn the strengths and interests of each of my different kids – that really stood out to us.” Recalls Niebuhr, instructors not only “got my daughter into programming but kept helping her troubleshoot it herself – instead of fixing it for her. Once it worked it was a ‘eureka!’ moment for her. So priceless at a precious learning age.”

Felicia Burciaga, whose two children take a weekly after-school robotics class together, describes “how nice, friendly, and caring the director and staff are with our children. And the programs have helped our children love coding. Each week they are excited to learn more. They even come home and take apart different electronics to learn how they work. Overall, Inventor has been an amazing company and made us feel very welcomed.”

Chantel Jovanovic describes how her 3-year-old son “has learned and grown so much and [how] his critical thinking and creativity have blossomed since joining Inventor STEM School.”

What made the program stand out to mom Kim O’Keefe? “It was 100% for us the staff and how kind they were to our son.”

Linda Chernov, whose 10-year-old grandson has participated in a school vacation program with the school, echoes O’Keefe’s sentiments. “The incredible staff are warm and friendly, and they’re keyed into student interests and growth. Teachers give individual attention to each student, creating opportunities for their enhanced learning.”

What’s the secret sauce? It’s no secret, insists Harris. “It’s pretty simple really. We operate on the premise that the best learning environment is one that is both playful and rewards experimentation. We know kids thrive when they can take on challenges, take some risks, and stretch themselves. But you also have to know how far they can stretch, and when to give a hand. I think we just really care about each child, about their individual experience. And I think parents see that.”

What does Harris think about what she’s accomplished so far this year? “I’m just grateful, first and foremost, to our families for trusting us, and for ‘getting’ what we’re trying to do here. And to my team. I’m crazy proud of them. I do think we’re starting off on the right foot. And I’m just really excited about where we can go from here.”

Source: PR Web