Home Essex CountyBloomfield Why Kids Have Fun Learning STEM at Montclair Learning Center in Bloomfield

Why Kids Have Fun Learning STEM at Montclair Learning Center in Bloomfield

by Olivia Rizzo
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New Jersey is one of the top locations for careers in Science, Technology, and Math (STEM). So it’s no surprise that kids and parents alike are interested in finding after-school activities that allow for exploring how STEM activities can be applied to everyday life or as a future career. Which why The Montclair Learning Center, located at 57 Park Street in Bloomfield, aims to foster an environment where learning is fun and engaging. Montclair resident Christiane Agkpo is the owner and operator of MLC and Montclair Girl sat down with her to learn more about this creative program.

montclair learning center bloomfield

(Photo credit: @montclairlearningcenter)

The Ivy at Chatham

The Owner

Christiane Agkpo is a Montclair resident and a mom of four. She has had a long-time interest in STEM and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Polytechnique Montreal and an MBA from Columbia University. 

The Montclair Learning Center first began in 2004 and Christine took it over in 2014. She describes it as her passion.  

“I wake up every day excited to go to work and see the sparks in the kids’ eyes when they are proud of their building a robot, or understand STEM better, or have fun with an experiment,” she said. 

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About MLC Programs

The Montclair Learning Center provides programs in computer science, learning games, math, science, and technology for children in grades K through eight.

“MLC is a maker lab where the kids have fun building, tinkering, and experimenting. You would often find us building on the floor or with goggles and lab coats running science experiments. We have lots of projects that the kids built,” Christine said. 

montclair learning center bloomfield

(Photo credit: @montclairlearningcenter)

The specific programming ranges from chess, and engineering classes, to coding, rocketry, and a drones lab. 

For younger kids ages 3 to 5,  the MLC’s Little Engineers program exposes young minds to STEM concepts in a fun, age-appropriate way.

There are also specific programs geared towards encouraging girls to participate in and explore STEM. 

As an engineer myself, I want to make sure that girls get excited about STEM and are not intimidated by it,” Christine said.

See More: Montclair Culinary Academy: Creating Connections + Chefs in Montclair

Birthday Parties + Special Programing

In addition to offering after-school programming that enhances learning, the MLC is also a place for fun birthday parties for kids who love to build stuff.

Parties can feature stations with anything from LEGOs to electrical circuits, or motors and gears. Party themes can be adapted to feature pirates, superheroes, or princesses. Themes include popular movies and TV shows like Star Wars, Harry Potter, and CSI

montclair learning center bloomfield

(Photo credit: @montclairlearningcenter)

“I hope MLC sparks the kids’ interest in STEM, that after they try our program, they want to learn more about STEM and build more and experiment more,” Christine said.  

In addition to all of the in-house offerings, the MLC is also able to hit the road and bring some of the STEM fun to school classrooms, homeschool locations, and local libraries. The MLC can host field trips during the school year and can run special programs on-site for schools and camps or other groups. 

In the summer, the MLC runs STEM-themed summer camps for children entering grades one through six. Program options include STEM plus and Girls-Only Stem. For kids ages 3 to 5 there is a Little Engineers summer program. 

montclair learning center bloomfield

(Photo credit: @montclairlearningcenter)

“MLC brings together a community of families that want to make STEM fun and accessible for their kids, and MLC is this fun and nurturing place where kids are learning while playing,” Christine said.

Keep up with Christine and The Montclair Learning Center on the website and Instagram.

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