Ghazal Qureshi was on a quest to find additional resources to increase her children’s education when the spark of IDEA Lab Kids was lit. She’d stepped away from her role as project management for Boston Market, where she’d been working in the software development, to dedicate more time to her children. And, now that she could focus on parenthood, she wanted to boost her children’s education beyond the classroom. She struggled to find innovative STEM programming.
So in 2011, Qureshi rented a space and launched IDEA Lab Kids in Houston, Texas. IDEA Lab Kids offers children ages 4 to 16 years old camps, classes, workshops and birthday experiences using coding, engineering, arts, science, 3D design, augmented reality and other innovative subjects.
“At this age kids’ brains are like sponges and the sooner you expose them to certain forms of learning the more their capacity to learn grows,” Qureshi said. “This idea grew into wanting to educate not only my kids in STEAM but others in the community and now globally.”
Each program focuses on critical thinking, teamwork, soft skills and presentation skills. Even though these programs are advanced, Qureshi said she doesn’t want to just “spit out the next coders.” She and her team want to provide students with the technological knowledge that they’ll need in the workforce of the future and real life situations.
In 2017, the company launched as a franchise and in just two years, has doubled in growth with 87 locations around the world and over 200 employees. They’re now creating a second philanthropic arm of the company to assist the family of students who do not have the means to pay for the tuition.