By Joe Southern
In the land of NASA, Omah and Herbert Duncan are hoping they can help youngsters rocket to the head of the class in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) with their new Club SciKidz and Tech Scientific programs that are starting up this year in Sugar Land.
The couple purchased a franchise of the Atlanta-based summer camp and after school program and is the first to launch it in the Houston area. The inaugural programs will open soon in Sugar Land and will be expanded to other communities.
“This is unlike anything we had seen in the city of Houston,” Omah Duncan said.
Duncan, a former classroom teacher who has her doctorate from Texas A&M University, and her husband are entrepreneurs who were looking for business opportunities in the area. They are also parents of a 5-year-old and were frustrated with the time and expense of taking him to different enrichment programs. That’s when they discovered Camp SciKidz in Atlanta and decided to give it a try.
“We enrolled our son and we went to the Atlanta camp for a week … and fell in love with the camp,” Duncan said.
She said the program brought everything they were looking for into one package. The company is committed to demonstrating how science works in the real world by providing activities in veterinary medicine, robotics, forensics, video game creation, food science, paleontology, engineering, chemistry and biology.
“Being able to allow little Houstonians the opportunity to experience multiple science, technology, engineering and mathematics experiences in one location has been a long time dream and now it is a reality,” Duncan said.
The age-appropriate summer camp programs are for children ages 4-5, 6-8, 9-11 and then the advanced Tech Scientific program for youngsters 12-15. There is a half-day option for children ages 4-5. The first summer camp begins June 13 and enrollment is under way at Houston.clubscikidz.com.
In order to bring the program to multiple communities, the Duncans are partnering with local churches for space. So far they will be at Fishers of Men Lutheran Church at 2011 Austin Parkway and Faith Lutheran Church at 800 Brooks St.
“We will be adding locations in Houston and Katy in the coming year,” she said. “We are interested in recruiting churches in the Katy area. We have lots of families interested there.”
In addition to enrolling children for the summer camps, parents can also enroll them in the before and after school programs that will start in the 2016-2017 school year.
Duncan said the program will be taught by certified teachers partnered with counselors who are in college learning to teach. Each class will have about 18-20 students.
With a slogan “Where Science and Technology Connect,” Club SciKidz takes children’s enrichment opportunities to a whole new level by offering 42 different science themed day camps, after-school science clubs, Lego Robotics, in-school field trips, science birthday parties, pre-school workshops and scouting badge projects.
Duncan said the classes will be set up like a lab to enable more hands-on learning. There will be different classes throughout the day with breaks for lunch and some unstructured play time.
“We want to help keep kids healthy,” she said.
Parents wanting to learn more about Club SciKidz Houston can find them at the following upcoming community events:
March 19 at the Sugar Land Eggstravaganza Egg Hunt, Eldridge Park, 2511 Eldridge Road. April 2 at Magic at the Plaza, Sugar Land Towne Square, 7-9 p.m.
For more information, visit houston.clubscikidz.com or call 713-589-8958.