CSUF Startup Incubator Resident KIDnetic Energy Labs will bring STEM/STEAM Education to Students

KIDnetic Energy Labs LogoYou have heard of STEM, right? Maybe even STEAM? If you think these are acronyms for something science- or technology-related then you’re on the right track. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math and the A in STEAM stands for Art (the other letters have the same meanings in STEAM as they do in STEM). Over the last few years, there has been a substantial effort to get kids more interested and engaged in STEM/STEAM activities for many reasons, not the least of which being adults with STEM/STEAM backgrounds tend to do better than non-STEM/STEAM peers remuneratively.

This is where KIDnetic Energy Labs comes in. Led by Michael Stanislawczyk, this startup will help bring STEM/STEAM education to students of all ages.

Like many of us, Michael spent his first 20 years as a student and then started working in various technical roles and on his employers’ leadership teams. “Finding success in your career is a lot like succeeding as a student,” Michael said recently. “And in many ways starting your career is like your first day of school all over again. This happened to me, and most every time we hired someone new.”

Since then, he has been looking for a better way for young professionals to be better prepared for what he calls, “Your next career.” Combining these ideas with studies published by economic leaders helped him realize that we can do a better job teaching students to see the outcomes in the STEM/STEAM-related work that they do as students.

(Coincidentally, the other day I had a conversation about this topic with one of our alumni who is working on the grant CSUF won to help teach kids STEM. To cut to the chase, she was tasked with writing a paper justifying the positive connection between entrepreneurship education and success in STEM fields and was having a hard time connecting the two. We quickly realized that through an entrepreneurial mindset the students were beginning to appreciate the applicability of STEM/STEAM to their lives as adults, because, after all, if you can make a business out of something then there are opportunities in that field. In other words, kids need to be convinced that what they are learning is valuable to them on some level and I personally think that KIDnetic Energy Labs is developing a very compelling argument about STEM/STEAM that kids will accept.)

The success of STEM/STEAM is necessary to strengthen our economy, to establish a comfortable standard of living, and to even be able to afford to take breaks. KIDnetic Energy Labs intends on leading this effort in a fun and educational way.

And while the business has not officially opened its doors yet, they have been hard at work developing classes for students, making connections with potential partners, and hard at work at doing some fun things every once in a while like you can see in this video of theirs of something called a “strandbeest” (it’s actually pretty cool and oddly hypnotic).

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