Pasadena is a city synonymous with science and tech. When Jospeh Huprich and Carina Caparas took their concept for STEM World from idea to fruition, it’s no wonder why they chose to locate it in Pasadena. Joseph and Carina recently sat down with the Future Yourself Here Team to talk about STEM World’s story and why doing business in Pasadena was a “no brainer” for their STEM space.
What is STEM World’s story?
Joseph: It all started with us identifying a growing need to foster science and technology interests outside of a traditional classroom environment. Inspired by our own kids’ curiosity, we imagined a place for all things STEM: including challenging educational programs, a real laboratory and makerspace, interactive displays, and engaging retail products. We wanted all of this in an inspiring, state-of-the-art hands-on learning environment like no place you've seen before.
The Stem World Motto is: Real Science… Smarter Kids… Better World. Our philosophy and approach to teaching STEM has always been simple - inspire future scientists, because scientists are heroes, too.
Every company grows over time. How has STEM World evolved?
Carina: When we started STEM World, the focus was mostly on the STEM curricula and experience. As we went through our summer camps, we realized that learning is closely tied to our students progress in terms of their social and mental well-being. We have trained our instructors to focus more and more on having a holistic teaching approach. We make sure that we build a child’s confidence by helping to develop their social skills and by removing any fears or apprehension in terms of tackling STEM related problems. When all is said and done, we want our students to take away a positive experience from Stem World. Our goal is to make them believe in themselves and their potential.
What are some of STEM World’s accomplishments you’re most proud of?
Joseph: We take great pride in creating one of the most inspiring STEM education spaces around. Unlike many other STEM programs, our space really represents the overall vision for what we’re trying to do - inspire future scientists, engineers, and technicians to become change makers.
What is the best advice you ever received?
Joseph: Love what you do! STEM World represents that - we love inspiring kids to learn science and technology.
Carina: A business that does not make a difference in the community, is a business that does not belong in that community.
What makes Pasadena an attractive place to do business?
Joseph: There was really no other place than Pasadena that we could have started STEM World. It is truly one of the centers of science, technology and innovation in the world between Caltech, JPL, the Planetary Society and many other STEM institutions surrounding Pasadena. It is also a great place to tap into talented, young students in the many public and private schools in San Gabriel Valley.
Carina: I believe that the small business community in Pasadena is very unique. The moment we started construction, every small business within distance to our shop offered their help and support. The Pasadena business community feels like a family. Government services are very conducive to a startup like us. It is a big city with a true sense of community.