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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STEM + ART = STEAM

"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 helps 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.

Resilience

Research shows that a Challenge-Island-palm-tree-like ability 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."

ENTREPRENEUR MAGAZINE

Award-Winning STEAM Programs



Hi, I’m JoAnn!

Owner of Challenge Island Southwest Orlando

My name is JoAnn Mannarino and I have lived in Southwest Orlando for over 20 years, currently residing in Windermere, Florida. I have a B.A. in Speech Communications from West Chester University in West Chester Pennsylvania, where I was born and raised. I have two children and have over 20 years of experience as an OCPS ADDITIONS Volunteer. My daughter, Amanda, is now 27 and is currently pursuing a Masters's Degree in Social Work at NYU while my son, Jacob, is 12 years and a student at Southwest Middle School. Both of my children had some academic struggles and I became and still am very involved in their education.

One of the many things that attracted me to Challenge Island is how it encourages children to "learn by doing" and unfortunately that is often not how things are taught in schools today. The majority of learning today is based on delivering information which goes into a child's short-term memory and ultimately doesn't stick. With Challenge Island, children are given a challenge to solve and, using nothing more than their imaginations and simple items in their treasure boxes, come up with a way to solve this challenge. It encourages children to be creative and work together with other children and sometimes they have to make mistakes but at Challenge Island, that is Ok. There is no "perfect or right" solution, however, there are many different ways to solve a challenge and that is exactly how life is and kids are encouraged to be unique and to think outside of the box.

As a Challenge Island Owner, I have experience working in many different settings to include both Public and Private Schools as well as other community organizations such as several local YMCA's, Martial Art Centers and Science Academies. I also have experience running Girl Scout Workshops, which enable these young ladies to obtain Badges and Journey's with their Troop. Nothing brings me more joy than seeing a child's eyes light up because they have successfully solved a challenge or when a child asks me questions that are an extension of the lesson and I have to use google to find the answers. These are the ultimate rewards of being a Challenge Island owner!

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STEAM + Reading = STREAM!

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

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HIGHLIGHT

Challenge Island Ranked #115 on Entrepreneur’s Fastest Growing Franchises, Featured in Full Page Spotlight in Entrepreneur Magazine’s March 2022 Issue

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