Parent of two talks about benefits of tech programs, raves about Computer Explorers

Nicole Scimeca learned computer basics thanks to a ComputerTots class. (Photo courtesy of Gail Scimeca)

Gail Scimeca knows the benefit of introducing children to technology education at an early age. A former technology education teacher for gifted children, Scimeca enrolled her daughters in the Computer Explorers programs in Park Ridge, IL, years ago and has watched as her daughter’s interests in math, science and technology have increased.

What initially attracted you to Computer Explorers and their programs?
I really liked the fact that they bring a lot of expertise to the program. You don’t get that kind of expertise in schools. Computer Explorers incorporates more problem solving, and more technology — things that aren’t offered in a normal school curriculum. I really liked that they were learning to cooperate with others in a group and problem solve together.

What programs have they taken? What are some of their favorites?
My older daughter has taken a lot of the animation classes, the CSI digital microscope and the LEGO engineering classes. She has taken the LEGO engineering class over and over again. They are always completing new projects or simple machines, and building innovative things with the LEGOS. Lately she has imagined her projects in 3-D, which is an exciting architectural aspect for her to get into.

My younger daughter has done ComputerTots. The program has really given her a familiarity with the computer and working in small groups. She is so proficient with the computer, probably because she learned the basics when she was 3!

Have you seen their technology skills, or comfort with technology, grow since taking these programs?
Absolutely. My older daughter is very interested in the animation programs and has gone on to do some very advanced stuff. Computer Explorers is a great way for children to find what interests them early on. Children need to be given more opportunities to experiment with the technology and things that are out there. This is a higher level of thinking than it seems, and it’s really amazing what they can do. My daughters are getting a strong educational basis and having fun doing it.

How are you hoping this impacts your daughters’ futures?

Danielle Scimeca has taken several LEGO engineering classes offered by Computer Explorers. (Photo courtesy of Gail Scimeca)

I think it’s certainly the beginning of engineering and architecture principles. Computer Explorers breaks it down to what kids understand and then builds on that. It has definitely spurred an interest in math and science for the girls.

How has it been working with the CE teachers and directors?
They are just great with the kids. The girls love the teachers — they are able to give direction and also give them freedom to work on what they are doing. They don’t show them what to do, they guide them and let them feel their way. They are also great at suggesting programs and other things we can do from home. We have a digital microscope and other technology at home now for the girls.

I am a stay at home mom and was a gifted education teacher for 13 years in accelerated classes for math and reading. I have actually taught similar programs and think that what they do is very valuable.

For more information about Computer Explorers or to find a location near you, visit www.computerexplorers.com.

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