How Challenge Island is Giving Students a Competitive Edge
Our modern world is facing problems that need innovative solutions. When preparing the next generation to take the lead, we need an education method that encourages design-thinking, creative problem-solving, and collaboration. One way to do this is by leveraging STEM/STEAM teaching methods to engage students in fun and exciting ways.
Challenge Island® is an innovative educational opportunity that brings together passionate teachers and today’s students to learn how to overcome obstacles through collaboration, communication, and creative thinking – all skills that are necessary in today’s challenging careers.
With a growing STEM curriculum, Challenge Island® is changing the world of education to help the next generation of leaders change the world.
What is STEM Education?
STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics. STEM education focuses on these disciplines and prepares students with the skills needed to succeed in the 21st-century workforce.
Along with solid math and verbal skills, STEM education gives students the proficiency required to succeed in a job using technology.
Such a system aims to equip students with modern skills that are needed in what the U.S. Department of Labor predicts will be a job market with more than seven million available jobs requiring STEM-related skills.
How STEM Programs Differ from Traditional Education
The current education system in the United States is still largely based on a 20th-century model that emphasizes content knowledge and rote memorization. STEM education seeks to change this by emphasizing students’ ability to critically think, solve problems, and invent new ideas. The goal of these programs is to train students for jobs that do not currently exist or have not yet been invented.
The National Science Foundation states that STEM education includes science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in a way that is “authentic.” This means that students will learn to apply their skills to real-life problems instead of just learning about the content itself.
When students are engaged in authentic projects and tasks which require them to use their knowledge and skills, they are more likely to retain what they have learned. However, when students simply learn about a topic from a textbook or in a classroom lecture without ever using that information, then their retention rate goes down.
What is Included in STEM Education?
There are four main components to STEM education:
- Exploring and understanding the nature of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
- Developing critical thinking skills that allow students to examine ideas and solve problems.
- Sharing information broadly and deeply with others in an ethical way, such as collaboration on projects.
- Connecting curriculum topics to the real world using projects or hands-on activities.
These four areas aim to help students become active in the learning process by participating and contributing to projects rather than just being passive listeners.
A recent addition to STEM has added the arts to the curriculum, helping students connect the dots between STEM learning and the creative, artistic sides of their learning that drive innovation. This has led to a new acronym known as STEAM.
The Benefits of STEM/STEAM Programs
STEM/STEAM education has been proven to increase student’s critical thinking skills while bridging the educational achievement gap of minority groups across the nation.
Critical thinking is a skill that helps students gain mastery over any particular topic they learn and is also essential in the workplace for most jobs today.
STEM skills are essential to facing future challenges that have yet to be encountered, which can only help students enter a workforce where jobs never seem to stay the same.
How Challenge Island® is Helping Connect Students to STEM Opportunities
With the benefits of STEM education bringing new energy and excitement to modern-day schooling, it’s no wonder that teachers and parents are looking for ways to incorporate STEM programs into their children’s education.
To meet the growing need for quality STEM education, educator Sharon Stroff designed Challenge Island® – the world’s #1 STEM/STEAM program. Since its inception, Challenge Island® has been endorsed by Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 for its engaging and high-quality STEM/STEAM programming.
Challenge Island® is one of the only educational models that engages students in STEM education with the arts. Through both in-person and hybrid virtual STEM/STEAM methods, students engage with a variety of unique learning streams:
Science: Challenge Island® science curriculum combines the study of chemistry, physical science, earth science, and life sciences in a way that engages children and inspires them to become curious about the world around them.
Technology: Challenge Island® curriculum encourages children to use their minds and their hands to get creative with technology. Innovative and analytical activities help kids discover new and exciting ways to approach everyday problems with creativity.
Engineering: Students engage with the engineering world through the Challenge Island® Totem Pole – an integral part of each lesson that helps students use engineering skills every day.
Art: As one of the only STEAM educational models to include the arts, Challenge Island® uses exciting treasure chests that open up the world of art and design to children – giving them a chance to express themselves in new ways every day.
Math: Every Challenge Island® engages students with math education that is seamlessly woven into all aspects of the education. Students will find joy in learning concepts such as estimating, weighing, measuring, counting, and more as they engage with the Challenge Island® curriculum and activities.
Challenge Island® offers a flexible learning method that is perfectly suited to modern-day families. With both in-person, online, and afterschool programs, there is no end to the ways that children can grow and learn with the Challenge Island® program.
Built on Educational Experience and Excellence
The success of Challenge Island® has helped the program grow to over 120 locations in the USA and the globe through franchising opportunities.
Educators looking for new ways to engage students in the 21st century outside the confines of their classroom, have the unique opportunity to create a purposeful and fulfilling career with an educational franchise that has already equipped over 2 million children in over 6000 schools and community locations.
Challenge Island™ was founded by Sharon Duke Estroff M.A.T., an award-winning elementary school teacher who brings over two decades of experience in Atlanta public and private schools to the world of STEM education.
Challenge Island™ began when Sharon transitioned her second-grade classroom into the very first learning environment and developed the experience as an enrichment business using the current model in 2003. It has been growing by leaps and bounds ever since.
Unique Franchise Opportunities
Challenge Island® not only offers modern, innovative education to children across the globe, but the program is designed to be replicated easily through franchising.
Educators and entrepreneurs alike are invited to join the Challenge Island® franchise and create their own business with a purposeful and fulfilling career.
Challenge Island® offers unique local-market franchising opportunities for those ready to jump in and help communities access STEM/STEAM education.
Not only are franchising fees low, but Challenge Island® owners/operators are equipped with the resources and training they need to fill their programs and expand their offerings quickly.
Whether you are a long-time educator or first-time entrepreneur, all you need to start your own Challenge Island® franchise is a desire to help students access high-quality STEM/STEAM education in your area.