OUR STORY

Rana Shmaitelly , instructor in the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture at the American University of Beirut, teaching in the Mechanical and Engineering Management Department, a mother of three kids decided to launch the Little Engineer venture in Beirut, with the major aim to protect her 3 kids and other kids, the future generation, from being addicted to the TV, Internet, Electronic games (PSP, Nintendo,  Wii….)

"I believe that I can at least distract my kids for few hours in the week, away from electronic games, entertaining them with some educational and environmental activities, to prepare them to meet the challenges of the future. Today they can be students in the center, few years from now, in their teenage years , they will join The Little Engineer as facilitators for younger students. Nothing to lose as far as I have the will, the funds, the leadership and the initiative to convert the dream to reality, and I always say "When there is a will there is a way".

Let us give the Lebanese Kids and Teens the chance to express themselves, show their hidden skills and compete with others in worldwide competitions.

The Little Engineer concept was conceived March 2009, and was tested in July 2009 by launching a summer activity, a six week program. Kids enrolling in one of our programs were visiting us once per week, for 3 hours each time for six weeks. They were exposed to two programs: Robotic and The Kids and Teens Go Green (known now as the "Energy Lab"). The testing phase was amazing and fruitful. Many thanks for the parents' contribution in making the first sessions of The Little Engineer workshops so successful. Their active involvement in advancing their child's education, along with their faith and support in our mission to promote awareness of environmental technologies in their child motivated us in expanding our labs to include: Robotic Level 0, Robotic Level 1, Robotic Level 2 , Robotic Level 3, Kids and Teens Go Green (Energy Lab) and Creativity Lab, Pneumatics, Electro Mechanical Machines and More.

It is truly our pleasure to enhance the child's awareness of new technologies and encourage the creative growth in exploring the various possibilities offered by the engineering field. Today, The Little Engineer provides Summer and after-school activities that supplement the traditional learning environment. It offers an open space where children can have fun while building skills like creativity and problem solving – skills that are not necessarily addressed in the classroom. The Little Engineer guarantees a friendly atmosphere with qualified staff catering to small groups of children who work and play together at their own pace. Not to forget that The Little Engineer is hosting groups of students from schools, in 2 hours morning sessions, to introduce them to the world of robotic and renewable energy and sustainable environment through tailored hands on learning activities, we are partnering with summer camps to deliver our unique activities in their platform and celebrating scientific birthdays to inspire kids about science and technology. We believe that this approach to learning helps children to be better qualified to meet the challenges of the future society – a future where innovation, originality, and the ability to work with others will be key competitive parameters. For her initiative and business plan, she was recognized as one of MENA's most promising entrepreneurs by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was awarded the "Coup de Coeur Femme " by Medventures for the Mediterranean and recently selected by Cartier Women Initiative the Laureate for the MENA region. She is working hard to invest in young minds preparing them for the challenging future, while at the same time aim high to empower women in her community, country and around the world.

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