On Sept. 8-10, the Curtis family welcomed visitors to an open house at the new home of STEM for Kids. The new learning center is located at 9461 N. 2nd St, next to Kids Spot, in Roscoe. (L-R) Brandon, Gary, Donna and Sydney Curtis. Donna Curtis is the owner of the STEM for Kids franchise. Brandon is the eldest and Sydney is the youngest of the Curtis’s six children.


By Jean Seegers


STEM for Kids has been offering classes in STEM subjects throughout Wisconsin and Illinois for the past five years. Locally, kids in kindergarten through eighth grade have been learning through after-school programs and summer camps at Roscoe Middle School, Stephen Mack Middle School and other educational locations.

In 2016, Donna Curtis has a master’s degree in math education, K through 14. She purchased the first STEM for Kids franchise In the United States. Donna and her husband Gary saw the opportunity and future of computer-based learning and embraced the concept whole-heartedly.

STEM programs emphasize science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Kids can choose from computer-based classes in subjects such as Coding, Minecraft, Robotics, Engineering Design, Computer programming and App Design: – a giant leap from the dry and tedious math and science classes of the past.

In July of this year, STEM for Kids found a permanent home in the former Piano Tunes Academy, located next to Kid’s Spot at 9461 N. 2nd St. in Roscoe. The 3,000 sq. foot building suited the Curtis’ need for classroom space, plus there is room for expansion.

The couple are parents of six children. Their youngest, 10-year-old Sydney, has been an enthusiastic student of STEM classes since kindergarten. “She never gets tired of it,” according to her mother.

“All of our kids are involved in some shape or form,” she said.

On-line learning is even more important this year due to the COVID-19 virus. The STEM for Kids programs provide both on-line programs and face-to-face learning. “The virus killed our regular summer programs, but on-line learning and Zoom meetings filled the void,” Donna said. “The kids enjoy it. They bond with students all over the country and learn how to be un-afraid in an on-line world.”

The new facility can accommodate three classes at the same time: K-2, 3-5- and 6-8. After-school, evening, and on-line classes are also available. There is a kitchen where snacks and drinks can be purchased. Surveillance cameras cover all rooms in the building.

An open house on Sept 8-9 -10, offered parents and kids the opportunity to tour the new building and learn about the STEM programs.

A Taste of STEM during September is giving students in K-8 the opportunity to try the programs. It’s available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10 to 11:15 a.m., 4 to 5:15 p.m., and 6 to 7:15 p.m.

For more information on STEM for Kids, call 815-352-8330.


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