Engineering For Kids, An Education Franchise Company, Landing In The East Valley

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Engineering for Kids a Virginia education franchising company has expanded into the Phoenix area.

The Fredericksburg, Va.-based company offers science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM programs to children ages four through 14 via classes, camps, clubs and parties.

Ron Hoagland, the program director for East Valley Engineering for Kids, said his franchise territory covers several parts of the East Valley, including Ahwatukee, Tempe, Chandler, Scottsdale and Paradise Valley.

"Kids in general are naturally curious how things work," Hoagland said. "A lot of times they don't really understand that math and science are a part of that." His goal is to help bridge the gap between what students are learning in the classroom and how it applies in real life.

"The goal is to spark an interest in engineering and math and science," he said.

With a corporate background in project management, Hoagland said he has always wanted to run his own business, but never thought it would be in this area.

"For me, there is a strong desire to bring something new and positive to the community," he said.

When he looked around at franchises, he knew it had to be something more than a Subway something that would bring value to the community.

"Doing my research, I found that there's great need for this type of program," he said. "In the U.S., we're severely lacking in science and math as compared to international students." The International Franchising Association estimates the costs of starting up an Engineering for Kids franchise at between $30,000 and $50,000 with a total investment of between $32,000 and $88,000.

The company's website said a $17,500 franchising fee is involved with new territories and a home-based franchisee can start-up an educational business for between $25,000 and $30,000. The company was founded by Dori Roberts in 2009.

Steve Zylstra, president and CEO of Arizona Technology Council, said the earlier children are exposed to these concepts the more inclined they will be to want to pursue these areas in their educational studies and careers.

"The more familiar they are and the more experience they have the more likelihood they're not going to be intimidated," Zylstra said. "STEM is tough. It's one of the reasons we don't have more people pursuing the STEM educational paths and career paths." Hoagland said all of the franchise's programs meet national standards for STEM education and also are aligned with Arizona's common core standards.

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2781 Jefferson Davis Hwy #107
Stafford, VA

Phone: (540) 288-1335

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