Welcome to the World's #1 STEAM Program

Where Engineering Meets Imagination©

Challenge Island® is the Official Home of STEAMbuilding® and STEAM Teams®
The Challenge Island Difference

Our Results Show in Our Awards

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Palm Tree Pillars

The Foundational Pillars of our Program that Make Challenge Island the Go-To Choice for Millions of Parents and Educators

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"To develop a complete mind, study the science of art; study the art of science; realize that everything connects to everything else." - Leonardo DaVinci

21st Century Skills

We foster the fundamental skills kids need to thrive today and tomorrow including creativity, collaboration, communication, flexibility and leadership.

Higher Level Thinking Skills

Our programs promote deep, critical, analytical and creative thinking abilities in kids which help ensure their long-term academic and professional success.

Project Based Learning

Our STEAM Teams® engage in collaborative, inquiry-based, student-driven learning grounded in real world connections and meaningful problem-solving.

Island Destinations

Whimsical island ambience combined with cross-curricular themes make the Challenge Island experience an unforgettable adventure.

Social-Emotional Learning

We foster the social and emotional intelligence children need to form healthy relationships, make positive choices and find fulfillment in life.


Research shows that a Challenge-Island-palm-tree-like ability to be flexible and strong through life’s ”storms” is far more essential to future success than IQ.

Steam Teams

No child is an island which is why kids tackle our hundreds of proprietary challenges by combining their strengths with those of a STEAM Team of friends.

Screen Free Fun

Our programs provide digital native kids the precious opportunity to connect with their peers face-to-face and discover the wonders of the world, undeterred by devices.

"One thing that makes Challenge Island a standout is what it lacks. You’ll find no screens or digital devices in a Challenge Island after-school class, camp or family night. Instead, kids working together in STEAM Teams, are encouraged to use imagination, teamwork, and problem-solving skills to come up with creative solutions to challenges using a treasure-chest full of low-tech supplies."


Award-Winning STEAM Programs

Hi, We're Michelle & Mike Peterson

Owners of Challenge Island Oakland County East

Mike & Michelle are the owners of the Challenge Island – Oakland County East program, serving southeastern Michigan and also students from around the world virtually. They have taught in schools, community education programs, and homeschool cooperatives locally in Birmingham, Brandon, Clarkston, Lake Orion, Rochester/Rochester Hills, Waterford, and West Bloomfield as well as working with students in over 9 different states plus Switzerland and South Korea!

Mike is an engineer by training, with degrees in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and business from Iowa State and MIT. Mike worked for 30 years as an engineer and manager for General Motors before retiring in 2018, and his focus has now shifted to teaching through Challenge Island and also as a special lecturer at Oakland University. Michelle studied industrial design at Arizona State University, and has worked in design positions with Hughes Aircraft, Honeywell, Fosella & Associates and General Motors, as well as in a variety of positions with local businesses and non-profits to provide graphic design and business support. Both Mike and Michelle are active in their community, and have helped local students grow their potential through volunteering with Cub & Boy Scouts, FIRST Robotics, Math Pentathlon, Science Olympiad and other organizations. They have three children who followed in their STEAM footsteps as engineers.


STEAM + Reading = STREAM!

Combine the Magic of Challenge Island Programs with the Magic of Reading with our Bestselling Book Series!

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Challenge Island Featured in IFA Oscar Ad During the 2023 Academy Awards!


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Challenge Island is Included on Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 for the 6th Year in a Row!


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Challenge Island is Included on Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 for the 6th Year in a Row!


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Challenge Island Ranks #188 on Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top Global Franchises List


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Every Day is Earth Day at Challenge Island!


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Challenge Island in Action

CI Oakland County East, Michigan Contact Form

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