STEM teaching

By Marianne Mueller


Donna Curtis has taken her love of teaching and is applying her credentials to bring a special form of education to the Stateline. Curtis was an elementary school teacher.

She taught middle school science at Holy Family and has worked at Blackhawk Technical College where she taught algebra, business math, GED, shop math.

“When I earned my Master’s degree, my goal was to get a full time position in the college,” said Curtis.

Curtis is expanding on her vast array of experience by sharpening minds of children. Curtis recently started a STEM for Kids franchise designed to make learning extra fun. The business is run out of the Curtis home and the entire family does their part in working alongside Donna.

Donna’s husband Gary is her technical support who is the accountant and helps with marketing. Donna’s son Derick teaches computer programming and also helps with technical support.

“Derick taught himself computer programing which was required of him in his calculus and trigonometry classes.”

Most recently Derick and Donna went on a trip dedicated to his interest in computer graphics, virtual and augmented reality programming.

“We went there to learn more about the newest, latest and greatest technologies being created,” shares Donna. “We sat through several lectures on the programming aspects of computer animations. We spent time in aeronautical museums to gather insight. We were keeping up with the real world, so to speak. “

“Our daughter Sydney is our number one fan and best participant and tester of all material, “said Curtis. Others lend a hand in a variety of miscellaneous ways.

This particular program is a franchise based in North Carolina; one of the first of its kind to exist. Within a year it is Curtis’s goal to expand the business base into Northern IL.

The program covers Science, technology, engineering and mathematics which is the base of the acronym STEM.

“All of the curriculum is written by professionals in the field. It is a combination of real world fun and activities,” says Curtis.

“All new techniques are implemented to help youth understand math, not just to do math. I have learned before that many people are terrified of math,” Curtis added.

Computer programming classes are offered every Wednesday. Programs in aerospace engineering, bio medical engineering, mechanical engineering and robotics branch into another level of learning opportunities. Camps and programs are geared toward kids ages Kindergarten through fifth grade.

After school programs have been given in Beloit and Janesville. Numerous workshops have opened new doors to further learning. Curtis is most recently running a camp through STEM titled, “Motions and Machines” which covers mechanical engineering and robotics. The camp is being held at First Presbyterian Church in Janesville.

“I am learning all of the technology of today’s web sites and the business end of things.” We are in the process of switching to a non-profit. This is to assure that the funding is there to obtain materials and whatever may be needed to fund programs to the schools and to keep costs lower, “said Curtis.

More information about STEM may contact Donna Curtis at (608) 352-8330 or go to



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