Now Enrolling for our new location in Winter Park - Young Innovators

June 15, 2024

We are thrilled to share some exciting news with you! At Young Innovators Academy, we're always striving to enhance the learning experiences of our young minds, and today, we are delighted to announce a groundbreaking initiative that will redefine early childhood education.

Young Innovators Academy Winter Park will open its doors Summer 2024 and the staff at this new location is undergoing training to become one of the first locations in the nation for a pioneering pilot program that explores innovative ways of learning for local preschoolers.

Sponsored by The Early Learning Coalition of Orange County (ELCOC), this 8-month long program is set to launch on Friday, June 14 at the new campus in Winter Park.

The program, titled "Empowering Communities to Shape Their Worlds," employs a maker-centered learning approach. This innovative method puts students, parents, and teachers at the center of creating their own learning experiences. It is spearheaded by renowned educators from the Orlando-based Young Innovators Academy and EPIC Innovation Collective, including Dr. Edward Clapp, a Principal Investigator at Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

"Outdated teacher instruction models no longer serve children, and traditional memorization, teacher-directed learning hinder their creative potential," says Marnie Forestieri, CEO and Founder of Young Innovators Academy. "To truly empower communities, we need to shift our focus from traditional education methods to a more child-centered approach."

Dr. Scott Fritz, CEO of The Early Learning Coalition of Orange County, echoes this sentiment. "We are honored to be a part of this innovative program. To keep up with our changing world, we need to adapt our teaching methods, especially with our youngest learners. Through this pilot program, our educators will have the opportunity to learn from some of the greatest minds in early childhood education and then use these new methods to engage our youngest minds right here in Central Florida and contribute to their future success."

The goal of this program is for children to achieve ‘maker empowerment’—developing a sensitivity to design and the ability to shape their world, even at a very young age. "A maker-empowered child does not see themselves as a mere consumer of design; they see themselves as the creators of their experiences," explained program creator Edward Clapp, Ed.D.

By engaging in maker-centered learning, young students and adults closely examine objects and systems, explore the complexity of design, and find ways to make impactful changes. The primary outcome is maker empowerment, which fosters a sensitivity to design and the ability to shape one's world through building, tinkering, redesigning, or hacking.

Learn More about Young Innovators Academy:
255 S. Interlachen Ave.
Winter Park, FL
Phone: 407-495-2780