After being a high school engineering teacher for 11 years and noticing a void in quality STEM education, Dori Roberts, a mom of two, started an-after school STEM club that participated in competitions.
Engineering for Kids was first operated out of Roberts’ home, and after beginning to franchise, her club now has 140 franchises in 32 states and 19 countries. After expanding the program, sales from Engineering for Kids have hit $10 million.
We recently conducted a Q&A Dori Roberts about her interest in engineering and her successful after school club.
WashingtonExec: How did you become interested in engineering?
Dori Roberts: While attending Old Dominion University, working on my undergraduate degree in elementary/middle math and science education, I realized how much I enjoyed teaching concepts that meet the needs of kinesthetic learners such as myself. This led me to continuing my education and pursuing a graduate degree in technology education. It was then that I fell in love with teaching engineering. I very much enjoyed teaching the application of math and science and bringing those concepts to life.
WashingtonExec: Why did you found Engineering for Kids?
Dori Roberts: Engineering For Kids began when I noticed that there was a lack of engineering programs in my community area to enroll my then 6- and 8-year-old children.
WashingtonExec: Why do think more kids should be involved with STEM?
Dori Roberts: I believe that introducing STEM concepts to students at the elementary and even preschool level will help keep them interested in engineering and eventually pursue a career in engineering. Often students are not introduced to engineering until high school, where career choices are often already formed.
WashingtonExec: What have you learned about kids from serving as the CEO of Engineering for Kids?
Dori Roberts: I have learned that if you give a child a problem to solve that they will often come up with the most amazing engineering designs. I am always amazed by what they come up with.
WashingtonExec: What did you like about teaching engineering?
Dori Roberts: I love that there is no one answer to and engineering design problem. Kids are given the space to be creative and can come up with a unique design. When students test their designs, they are given opportunities to redesign and test their creation again.
To learn more about Dori Roberts and Engineering for Kids, visit: