There is always competition but if you only focus on the obstacles, you take your eyes off the goals.
Science Explorers is an award winning, innovative hands-on science company dedicated to providing an opportunity for children ages 4-11 to become engaged in the wonders of science. Whether it’s an after-school program, science camp, school assembly or on-site fieldtrips, Science Explorers makes science fun and exciting through its inquiry-based, hands-on format.
Founded in 1999 by Jennifer Moorehead, Science Explorers’ their motto is “If it’s not fun, we’re not doing it!” but their mission is to empower children by encouraging them to learn the way they were designed to learn. Science Explorers is currently offering programs at approximately 300 elementary schools throughout the Northeast from New Jersey to DC as well as community outreach programs through The S.P.A.R.K.S. Foundation across the country.
Science Explorers’ curriculum is aligned with the State or Core Science Standards and all lessons contain a concept, objective, hands-on activities and step by step procedures for the experiments that are fun and engaging. The lessons also demonstrate science concepts in a way that makes them easy to understand. The company motto is clear; “If it’s not fun, we’re not doing it”. Using this philosophy, Science Explorers hopes to change children’s (and parents) perceptions about science education.
Awards and Recognition:
“Best New Business” through The Ben Franklin Transformation Network
“Making A Difference” award through The Technology Council of Central PA
“Business of the Year” from SCORE
“Summer Camp Directory: Great Summer Experiences”
“Registry of Business Excellence”
Nominated for “Educator of the Year” through the Technology Council of Central PA
Science Explorers has also been featured numerous times in TV, newspaper and various media.
Where did the idea for Science Explorers come from?
Science Explorers was born in 1999 after the enrichment company I worked for out of California pulled from the market. I had 17 schools signed up for After school programs so along with my instructors, we wrote our first club…”It Takes Guts”
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
We don’t have a “slow” season at Science Explorers, we’re always looking at the next season, the next program.
How do you bring ideas to life?
We have an amazing team that collaborates on our programming.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
The trend in parents investing in their children. It’s wonderful to see children learn the way they were designed to learn.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I have acute ADD issues. I jump from one task to the next one. I don’t prefer chaos, but I’m able to perform well in it. I don’t know that it makes me more productive but it doesn’t hurt.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I worked at an organic food distributor in an Amish/ mennonite community. I stood out like a sore thumb. It was a great reminder to play to my audience. I grew up outside of Philadelphia and my extroverted personality overwhelmed many of the people there.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
It’s difficult to say what I would differently in the start up phase as everything I did wrong was a learning opportunity.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Write a business plan and revisit it every year. If you don’t have a map, you are very likely to end up somewhere else.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
We have focused on developing a premium product. We also don’t give a bunch of attention to our competition. There is always competition but if you only focus on the obstacles, you take your eyes off the goals.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I’ve learned something new, every year I’ve been in business. I trusted someone without verifying with council…it almost cost me my business.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
After spending a week with my daughter and her newborn twins I would love to call someone and have them make dinner and deliver it. I would have paid for it…not take out.from a restaurant…a home made meal…I found a site called “takethemameal.com” we tried it, liked it but I would like a little more variety…not too many…from a business model standpoint…don’t spread yourself too thin.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I came up with a contest of sorts for our office that supports our sales team. I put 5.00 in a jar every day we surpassed last year’s receipts for the day. We ended up picking a name from the jar and gave one of our employees 85.00 for the month of September…I love to give positive reinforcements and everyone was excited at the opportunity to be rewarded for a busy month. This month I’m doing the drawing weekly with a grand drawing at the end of the month. It’s an appreciation tool that I’m happy to use.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
We use Salesforce to run our day to day operations. It has literally assisted us in growing our company 4 fold over the last 4 years.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“Who moved the Cheese” is a great quick read and good for the entire staff to read. It highlights how mice won’t wait around after their food source is moved…they go in search of a new source. It reminds people to create their own reality.
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
I’ve learned the most from my parents, Bobbie and Jack Strouse. My Dad was a biologist and my Mom was mostly a stay at home Mom who appreciated the arts. I rec’d a lot of encouragement along the way…my Mom has always said “surround yourself by the people you want to become” and “you’re judged by the company you keep”…both of these have rung in my ears since I was a teenager.
As far as public personas: I admire Warren Buffet, he’s super successful and incredibly realistic about life and finances.
Richard Branson is a good reminder to take risks. I admire his spirit.
I tend to admire “right-fighters”…folks that are trying to make the world a better place
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Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.