MakerKids, the Toronto-based tech education company and kid-oriented maker space, has announced it is expanding its robotics, coding, and Minecraft programs with a franchise in the Toronto neighbourhood of Leaside. This new franchise will be the second MakerKids location, with the company’s first located on Bloor St. West.
“Toronto is rapidly becoming a technology hub. Our after-school programs, camps and parties are dedicated to giving kids the resources they need to participate in the digital world.”
MakerKids’ education model looks to develop future leaders, designers, and engineers to face a new generation of challenges in tech. Through its programs, participants have presented their projects on national television and started their own businesses with the skills they’ve learned.
“We’ve had overwhelming interest from all over the world in our innovative curriculum and teaching philosophy that focuses on empowering children to develop real-life skills and a positive relationship with technology,” said MakerKids’ CEO, Jennifer Turliuk.
It’s coding and robotics programs are aimed to give young people positive experiences with STEM, as the ages between seven and 12 are usually the years in which kids decide whether or not they are interested in a future in STEM. The school’s third program uses the game Minecraft, popular amongst kids, as a medium to help them build transferable skills like coding, electronics, 3D design, and servers. Through this expansion, MakerKids said it can now reach more communities to further education and Canadian innovation in STEM.
“Toronto is rapidly becoming a technology hub. Our after-school programs, camps, and parties are dedicated to giving kids the resources they need to participate in the digital world. We’re so excited to start our franchise journey in Leaside, a strong, family and education-focused community,” said Turliuk.
MakerKids previously partnered with children’s entertainment brand YTV and Ladies and Girls Learning Code to launch Code Week on YTV back in 2015. Through the partnership, a Girls Learning Code mentor visited to design a digital holiday card. The exercise, which is meant to be easily replicated by kids at home, was also aimed at making coding more accessible to children. MakerKids visited The Zone segment to design a robot that made snow.
“I was drawn to MakerKids’ mission to empower the leaders of tomorrow with the skills and mindsets to change the world,” says Aimée Savard, owner of MakerKids Leaside. “Parents recognize the importance of exposure to STEM learning at an early age, particularly for girls, and we’re already seeing tons of children signed up for summer camps at MakerKids Leaside.”
The franchise is expected to open in June of this year.
Image courtesy MakerKids.