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Challenge Island Comes to Central New York

All posts by Terri Lowe

Challenge Island CNY Announces Social Bubble Camps

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The 2020 fall school semester in Central New York is going to be unlike any in recent memory. With the COVID-19 pandemic still causing havoc nationwide, schools, teachers, and parents have been forced to make some hard decisions. Children, of course, are suffering the most. Missing out on education during their formative years can have dire long-term repercussions. Many are also isolated, unable to learn the socialization skills they’ll need later in life. 

The good news is that CNY parents are taking the situation into their own hands. Many are homeschooling their children, turning their kitchens into surrogate classrooms. Others have formed micro schools, school pods, and social bubble camps. In this way, smaller groups of children can get the education and socialization skills they need while staying safe and healthy. 

Parents are at a Distinct Disadvantage

The challenge, of course, is that most parents have never had formal training as teachers. Also, finding high-quality teaching materials that focus on STEAM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) is difficult at best. This lack of experience and materials leaves parents at a distinct disadvantage on several fronts, with several daunting challenges:

     Keeping their kids engaged

     Presenting the material correctly

     Knowing how to deal with unruly children

     Not having adequate teaching materials. 

Introducing Challenge Island Social Bubble STEAM Adventures

To help both CNY parents and their children, Challenge Island has recently begun offering Social Bubble STEAM Adventures. Created by an award-winning team of educators, Social Bubble STEAM Adventures are perfect for parents who are homeschooling. If you’ve started a micro school, a school pod, or a social bubble of your own, our Social Bubble STEAM Adventures will be an excellent addition to your curriculum. 

How Do Our Social Bubbles Work?

Your child will stay safe as they learn and socialize with a small group of friends, family members, and neighbors. Better still, our exciting, cross-curricular format makes learning enjoyable, engaging, and fun. Children learn much better when they’re engaged in project based, hands-on learning, and that’s what they get from our award-winning learning adventures. 

Challenge Island works with parents, micro schools, social bubbles, or school pods. We can create a social bubble for you or help your child find a social bubble to join. Social bubbles are purposefully kept small and will follow all local, state, and federal government guidelines. Further, we scout the locations where all social bubbles are held ahead of time. 

Our team is ready to work with you to set the specific days and times for each STEAM Adventure. Also, all the materials and supplies needed for the day’s adventure are supplied by Challenge Island. All your child needs to do is show up, and Challenge Island takes care of the rest. 

Our COVID-19 Policy Is Straightforward And Clear

The reality of education in 2020 is that everyone must do their part to flatten the curve, reduce transmission, and stay safe from spreading COVID-19. To that end, Challenge Island has put in place safety measures for teachers, school staff, parents, and students. In this way, everyone can come together safely for the benefit of your children’s education and future. 

Social Bubble Are Forming Now

Challenge Islands’ Social Bubble STEAM Adventures is a challenging, fun, hands-on, and award-winning way to teach your kids. They’re also a safe and effective teaching tool that every micro school, social bubble, and school pod needs. If you have any questions about our Social Bubble STEAM Adventures, please call Terri Lowe, Owner and Director, at 315-309-4800 or email

Challenge Island Comes to Central New York

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Challenge Island has finally arrived in Central New York and ready to engage all those young creative minds. Challenge Island has been operating in Central New York since November 2019 in Onondaga and Cayuga Counties and can off our program in other areas locally and virtually.  We come bearing an award-winning S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) program with exciting challenges for boys and girls between the ages of 4 and 14.

Challenge Island, the World’s #1 STEAM program, is at the fore front of the digital learning wave. We realize that current affairs have affected the way learning institutions carry out their core business which is imparting knowledge in kids all around the world. With the STEM/STEAM based education program it is still possible to change the narrative. Challenge Island’s virtual and in-person programs are sure to be a game changer.  Find our more about STEAM 

Unlike other STEM programs, Challenge Island is built around a cutting-edge curriculum which includes art that appeals to a broader range of kids and their abilities to learn best.  In developing 21st -century  learning, our one-of-a-kind proprietary curriculum, Challenge Island considers the needs of both the child of today and the adult of the future – the foundation upon which to build the skills required to thrive in a competitive, 21st-century global society.  They will be the innovators, educators, leaders and “out of the box” big thinkers of the 21st century.   Working in tribes, kids acquire important skills in communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking. You can call it a group work project but with a fun and engaging twist. Challenge Island helps kids to learn without even noticing it. Learn more about 21st-Century Learning

Challenge Island follows the steps of the scientific method to think critically about possible solutions, and then carry out their plans to design and create something special that fulfills the challenge requirements.  All outcomes are celebrated.  There is no right or wrong way.  Students know mistakes are looked upon as necessary to improve and get better with increased effort.  Design flaws are studied, analyzed, and fixed – the engineering process at its best.  Risk-taking is encouraged to create a unique, never seen before design.  Kids don’t realize they are learning.  They are having too much fun.  Watch our What Is Challenge Island

Each Challenge Island challenge adventure appeals to children’s natural curiosity and sparks their inherent imagination.  The tribe approach (in-person) allows students to also practice and learn 21st– century skills (critical thinking, creativity, communication, flexibility, sociability, initiative, leadership, and perseverance through difficulty) that are not always explicitly taught in school.  Because Challenge Island is a “low-technology” program, students also learn how to have fun using their playful imaginations instead of digital screen time.  Challenge Island has the unique ability to simultaneously address the needs of both the playful, whimsical child of today and the globally successful adults of the future has brought Challenge Island a sea of accolades from schools, parents, and kids alike.  Challenge Island’s virtual programming allows children to engage online with a live teacher and share with other kids from all over the world!  Watch our “Home Island” virtual class video at

Entrepreneur Magazine ranks Challenge Island the number on STEAM education program on the 2019 and 2020 Franchise 500 and was recently featured in Insider and Parade Magazines as one of the top experts vetted virtual camps of 2020.

How we operate:

Children are taken on an age-appropriate, high-energy, fun, and engaging “island” adventure where they work hands-on, interactively in collaborative tribes (in-person) to take on critical thinking challenges using only the materials in their treasure chest and their creativity.  Whether your child is preschool age, elementary, or middle school-age, they are sure to love Challenge Island and ask for more!  Virtual adventures are the same high-energy and engaging, only altered to work individually vs in a tribe.  Learn more about the Island Experience 

Our programs are generally offered virtual or in-person to elementary age kids as one-to-one-and-a-half-hour classes before and after school, one-hour in-school field trips, or two- to three-hour camps, but also provided to preschool children as an extracurricular activity.  Challenge Island is also nationwide partners with the Girl Scouts and Boys and Girls Club of America and the recipient of the Parent’s Choice Award in the elementary division.  Since our inception, we have conducted field trips and day camps a the following locations: Town of Onondaga Parks and Recreation, Champions Martial Arts, Marcellus Free Library, the Huntington Family Centers, St. Margaret’s Montessori School, YWCA of Syracuse and the GSNY-Penn Girls Scouts Council.

Any challenge you can think of -we got it- and you can be sure your kids will love every bit of it. From after school enrichment classes to in-school field trips, summer camps, family nights. birthday parties, and more – you name it, we can do it. Challenge island is specially designed for kids to learn and at the same time have a blast. This is a fresh new approach to learning and development from the old-fashioned way.  See a class in action here

That is why we are proud to announce our Virtual and In-Person Field trips with both In-school and after school programs. The following are the programs we are featuring:

In-School Field Trips

Keeping the safety and health of students and teachers in mind, Challenge Island has come up with a way of taking kids on a thrilling adventure without them setting foot outside of school. Challenge Island brings real world experiences right inside your classrooms. As teachers, we understand the importance of field trips in a kid’s learning process. As such, Challenge Island strives to make every virtual field trip an unforgettable experience. With numerous destinations to choose from, students make “Real Life Connections” using STEAM and incorporates history, geography, cultures and more, right from the comfort of their classrooms.

Benefits of In-school field Trips

  • Even though it’s a virtual field trip, students still get a much-needed reprieve from the increasingly digitalized and high-pressure childhood experience
  • Kids get to explore places they may have never visited before in real life
  • As a parent you don’t have to worry about the safety of your kid as is sometimes the case with actual field trips

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Spectacular Summer Camps

Introducing our STEAMtastic summer camps with a wide variety of pop culture themes kids love like Slime Squad Camp, STEAM girls & Dolls Camp, and Emoji Camp. Summer camps are another awesome way we teach kids without really “teaching” them. The various interesting challenges that kids are exposed to at Challenge Island Summer camps, go a long way in influencing them positively. These new environments promote interactions with their peers and changes their perception of themselves and others.

Benefits of Summer Camps

  • Develop new interests
  • It’s a chance for the kids to get away from studying everyday subjects to something more interesting
  • Virtual summer camp presents an opportunity for the students to step out of their comfort zones and experiment with their skills
  • Bonding session with other kids with similar interests
  • Builds self-confidence in kids through various challenging tasks
  • It’s fun and entertaining for kids of all ages 

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 After School Program

Challenge Island combines math, science and history in the most fun way imaginable in this STEAM based learning program. Once your kid enrolls in our After-school program they’ll be hooked. In a constructive party-like environment, Challenge Island is a school away from school. We have fun and unique destinations like Jaguar’s Claw, Medusa’s Pet Rock Playground and Wizardry Academy for your kid’s delight and learning enjoyment. Our one of a kind After-school program promises to make learning a fun filled affair. The skills these kids learn in the environment we create for them, stick to their memories unlike traditional ways of learning.

Benefits of After-school Program

  • After school programs can strengthen what students learn in classrooms
  • An opportunity for students to learn and utilize new concepts
  • The same information can be easily and effectively spread to different students in different areas
  • After-school programs aid in increased commitment to learning as it is enjoyable for the students
  • Learning to embrace fun without the digital space as a medium for communication

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As the popularity of the STEAM education rises, we are looking to make it accessible to more and more kids across America. Being a multilayered project i.e. incorporating Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math the overall benefits cannot be overemphasized. Below are some general benefits:

General Benefits of STEM/STEAM based Education Program

  • Unlock the creative side of learners by moving from theoretical learning to more hands-on processes.
  • Encourages effective collaboration by engaging students in team work activities and group work projects.
  • Enhances Critical thinking through getting students to deliberate on complex problems and find solutions on their own
  • A STEAM based education helps students appreciate the arts and how they relate to other disciplines like Science and technology
  • Students get to think through real life problems but on smaller manageable scale.
  • By allowing students to express themselves freely a STEAM based education plays a massive role in their mental health and general well-being
  • STEAM based education program helps students familiarize with Science, Technology and Engineering early on in their learning process. Also makes Math fun unlike traditional education
  • In STEAM based education, failure is part of the process, and not something to be ashamed of
  • Through trial and error kids learn resilience and risk taking
  • Through STEAM based education kids learn how to adapt to situations that may arise in real life
  • In STEAM based learning there are no right or wrong answers, evaluation is conducted on the creativity behind a given project not just proven facts



Signing up is easy at  See our currently Scheduled Classes.  There are many classes per week and per month available virtually and in-person following strict CDC guidelines, state, and local safety measures, protecting the children, teachers, and staff.  Or to schedule your own virtual or on-site field trip or camp call Terri at 315-309-4800 or email

For information about in-person classes and social distancing go to

Terri Lowe, Owner and Director