Junior Explorers Aims to Reach 40 Million Elementary School Children in Classrooms with Award-Winning STEM Program Connecting Kids to Nature
Social enterprise plans to revolutionize the delivery of environmental science with new engaging and fun EdTech platform
BROOKLYN, NY — Junior Explorers, Inc., an award-winning education program that connects children to wildlife and nature, has announced it is raising funds on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to develop teacher resources and lesson plans, and to build the software needed to adapt Junior Explorers for classrooms. The company aims to raise $35,000 to partner with educators in inspiring the 40 million elementary school kids in America to love and protect the planet. The Junior Explorers Kickstarter campaign will run through the end of June 2016.
“Teachers do not have the materials or resources necessary to introduce the vital subject of environmental science to their students,” said Anurag Agarwal, founder and CEO of Junior Explorers. “We decided to do something about that, and with our Kickstarter campaign, we can build the tools to make our program available to every school across America.” Since the start of the Kickstarter campaign launch, more than 10,000 elementary school teachers and homeschoolers have signed up to bring Junior Explorers curriculum into their classrooms and homes.
Founded with a mission to inspire the next generation of environmental stewards, Junior Explorers teaches kids about wildlife and nature in a fun and engaging way through exciting tactile and digital missions exploring various ecosystems. Missions include searching for a missing polar bear in the Arctic, observing the great migration in the Serengeti, and exploring the diversity of the Amazon, along with many others.
Developed by a team of educators with specific learning objectives for each mission, the program has naturally appealed to teachers. The overwhelmingly positive response from teachers to Junior Explorers was the catalyst for the Kickstarter campaign to introduce environmental science into classrooms, libraries and after school programs. The program has already been successfully piloted in 30 schools.
“Students absolutely love the interactive nature of the program, which truly brought to life the ecosystems and adaptations components of our Science and Social Studies curriculum. Junior Explorers offers an engaging, interactive, and self-paced option to integrated science instruction,” said Debbie Ramm, teacher at Sarah Dyer Barnes Elementary School in Johnston, Rhode Island.
“There has never been a better time – or a greater need – to engage and connect kids to nature and wildlife,” said Sarah Sheehan, co-founder of Junior Explorers. “What better place to do this than in classrooms, where teachers dedicate themselves to creating global citizens and the scientists, biologists and conscious consumers of tomorrow.”
The Junior Explorers team chose Kickstarter as its funding platform due to the high level of engagement of the crowdfunding community and the propensity of supporters to pass along the message to their friends. To incentivize backers, Junior Explorers will be offering rewards including explorer kits, an eco-adventurer trunk, and the ability to nominate teachers to receive a complimentary year’s worth of Junior Explorers curriculum.
“It’s all about having fun, learning and inspiring kids to explore the world around them and to protect the planet and the life it supports,” added Agarwal. “We are using technology to tell the story of nature and bring it to life in a way that will engage and inspire kids.”
As a certified Benefit Corporation, Junior Explorers fulfills its social mission through a ‘Mission Give Back’ program, donating back a percentage of its profits to conservation efforts which are determined by points donated by each child who engages with the digital component of the program. The company’s ‘Mission Give Back’ program teaches kids to support organizations on the frontlines of conservation. For the past two years, Junior Explorers has shipped over 10,000 kits to thousands of kids across the United States and globally.
The Junior Explorers Kickstarter Page can be found here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/juniorexplorers/science-adventures-connecting-kids-to-the-planet?ref=nav_search
About Junior Explorers Inc.
Junior Explorers Inc. is a Brooklyn, NY-based edtech social enterprise dedicated to educating and inspiring the next generation of environmental stewards by developing product and digital experiences that connect kids to the planet. Our mission is rooted in the belief that you only protect something that you love, and you can only love things you are connected to. From this belief, Junior Explorers was developed as a program to develop kids’ understanding of our planet, its ecosystems and species through fun and interactive missions. We built a program which is truly experiential, is both tactile and digital, and meant for kids to learn while having fun.
Every mission starts at home with a kit arriving in the mail that includes collectibles, activities, and information about that month’s mission. Kids then go online and complete their mission through a rich gamified learning experience accessible on computers and mobile devices.
Junior Explorers is backed by industry veterans like John Replogle, CEO of Seventh Generation Inc, Carl Sparks, ex-CEO of Travelocity, and other noteworthy investors.