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Eye On Education: Innovation Institute Introduces Kids To Science

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BOSTON (CBS) – When it comes to science and technology, the world is changing at breakneck speed.

Unfortunately, many of our students are not keeping up.

A new after school program in Newton called the Innovation Institute is trying to get kids interested in science at a young age.

Kindergarteners wear white lab coats and look at various organisms on microscopes.  Everything is meant to be very hands on.

Jennifer Paige-Montana, a long time technology consultant, founded the program.  She believes it is appropriate to expose young children to science.  “They are naturally oriented towards exploration, investigation, and it excites them.”

Many parents have told her that they believe their children are not getting the background they need in the so-called STEM classes: science, technology, engineering, and math.

“We want to create and generate young people who can ask critical questions, think creatively, and lead the next generation for our Massachusetts innovation economy and that starts in the classroom,” added Paige-Montana.

It is clear something isn’t working in the American educational system right how.

An international ranking places the United States 26th in math and 21st in Science out of 34 countries.

“It disturbs me because I know we can do so much better,” said Paige-Montana.

The Innovation Institute brings instructors like Samira Kiani, a post-doctoral student from MIT, into the classroom.  She believes the approach of trying to involve younger children is a step in the right direction.  “If you develop people who are better thinkers, better scientists, than in the long run society will benefit from those deeper thinkers.”

Second grader Yosef Cheia likes coming to the Innovation Institute. “I like doing experiments and see if they work or don’t work.  And we write about them, observations.”

Fellow second grader Naviah Burgo is already thinking about how she can put her new skills to work in the future.  “I want to be a doctor.”

Students are coming from as far Brockton and Lincoln to participate in the program.

Like all after school programs, there is a fee.  Paige-Montana said she is committed to working with people of all income levels if a child is interested in participating.

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