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How an Award-Winning Teacher is Using Seasonal Activities at IDEA Lab Kids to Promote Supplemental Learning

STEAM-O-WEEN, IDEA Lab Kids’ new educational concept pairs science and math activities with in-person Halloween pageantry and fun on Saturday, October 31.

2020 has been a frightening year for children and families, but one franchisee is finding IDEA Lab Kids’ concept to be a good fit for uncertain times.

THE WOODLANDS, TX, UNITED STATES, October 30, 2020 / -- After sending her children to IDEA Lab Kids, a supplemental education program that focuses on science, technology, engineering arts, and math, Isabel Hejazi knew it was time to bring the concept to her Houston neighborhood by becoming its newest franchisee. Now, as students continue to adapt to changing learning environments, Hejazi and IDEA Lab Kids are bringing back in-person learning with STEAM-O-WEEN.

STEAM-O-WEEN, IDEA Lab Kids’ new educational concept pairs science and math activities with in-person Halloween pageantry and fun on Saturday, October 31.

IDEA Labs Kids has taken a scary situation and made the best of it. While strictly adhering to local COVID-19 guidelines including temperature screenings and small class sizes, IDEA Lab Kids and Hejazi have managed to keep kids coming back for hands-on learning in physical locations. For STEAM-O-WEEN, students will move from classroom to classroom and use candy and Halloween-themed experiments to explore key scientific concepts.

Hejazi plans to have groups of 10 children at a time take on spooky experiments, like engineering marshmallow monsters, using lights and batteries to make “Spooky Eyes,” pumpkin slime, dirt cups with layers of pumpkin and worms, and exploring “Vampire Blood,” where students learn the inner workings of a blood cell.

The kids in attendance will have their temperature taken and parents will be asked to wait outside to reduce crowds. In the spirit of the holiday and keeping things COVID-friendly, kids are encouraged to come in costume, don scary masks and wash their hands frequently.

Hejazi hopes the holiday fun will present a welcome break for parents who have had their share of scares this year with the uncertainties of the pandemic. Hejazi set out to offer summer classes in January 2020, but the pandemic had other plans.

“When everything happened people started canceling and we wanted to make sure people felt comfortable. For the summer we had 16 kids each week, but were supposed to have about 60. We followed all of the precautions and had no cases at our centers,” said Hejazi.

Additionally, Hejazi feels the service she offers with IDEA Lab Kids has helped parents as schools no longer contribute to in-person childcare. Even before the pandemic, parents in Houston struggled to find quality afterschool programs like the ones provided by IDEA Lab Kids. Now she sees her service take on even more importance.

“It has been so great to support those families who are struggling with online programs and being able to support those working parents. They want their kids to have the education experience and socialization while they’re working to support them. We have first responders, people in the medical field who need to go to work,” she said. Hejazi is happy to support those families with safe, educational opportunities for their children while they work on the frontlines of the pandemic.

IDEA Lab Kids began franchising in 2017. It has since grown to 106 locations and operates across 8 countries. Unlike its competitors, the supplemental education brand focuses on science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) educational opportunities, which together comprise the hottest areas in education.

Hejazi, a Ph.D. student and a mother of two, has always understood that learning doesn’t stop when the bell rings, or even when a global pandemic shuts down schools.

“I have been in education for 15 years and been a teacher for nine years,” said Hejazi. After three short years in Houston’s third-largest school district, Hejazi’s experience paid off in an unprecedented way when she became the first pre-k teacher to win district teacher of the year.

“I’m always looking for activities beyond the classroom, and there’s not a lot of places where you can do these kinds of programs,” said Hejazi. Despite the pandemic, Hejazi says the sky's the limit now for growing IDEA Lab Kids in Texas.

“A lot of engineers in the area work at Exxon and these are engineer parents who are excited about teaching kids STEAM. Our goal is to open new franchises in the future, purchasing the rights for Northeast Houston territory,” she said.

Fernando Martinez
IDEA Lab Kids
+1 2819825126
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