STEAM – Franchise Opportunities
Through its educational program that focuses on science, technology, engineering, the arts and math (STEAM), Challenge Island has been motivating children to dream big. Now, the franchise is bringing kids even more inspiration by introducing them to young professionals who are making strides in these career fields.
Challenge Island, which brings hands-on STEAM activities to kids in local schools, camps, and community organizations, has launched a free online series, “Hanging with the STEAM Stars.” The series invites children to hear directly from successful millennials in careers related to these fields including a software engineer and a developmental psychologist.
“We are encouraging kids to pursue STEAM careers by having live, interactive virtual programs where they get to meet cool, young STEAM stars,” said Sharon Estroff, CEO.

Among the professionals who participated in these live online events was Lucas Peterson, a manufacturing and cybersecurity engineer for General Motors in Detroit, who talked about how he turned his dream STEAM career into a reality.

Estroff’s son, Dr. Brandon Estroff, devoted his time for a chat in the series. The 28-year-old pediatric resident at Emory University offered sound advice and encouragement for his young listeners who may one day aspire to enter the medical profession. “It’s hard work. It’s a lot of long hours. It takes a lot of determination,” he said. “If it’s something that you really love, then it’s totally worth it.”

Other guests included Kelcy Newton, a Microsoft software engineer, who introduced the children to careers in coding, as well as Dr. Sara Valencia Botto, a developmental psychologist and researcher, who described her journey to earning a doctoral degree.

Young listeners inspired by the speakers could get an early start on STEAM careers by enrolling in a Challenge Island program near them or online. There are more than 60 franchise locations across the country, and the company continues its expansion.


– Rochelle Miller