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Explorer Junior is a Singaporean startup specializing in early childhood education programs, events and learning kits. The startup combines the best from traditional educational practices with advanced technology to bring better learning experiences to young children. Rong Xin Ng co-founded Explorer Junior with two friends four years ago after being inspired by the famous TED Talk by Sir Ken Robinson: Do Schools Kill Creativity?
Amongst other things he said his contention is that “All kids have tremendous talents, and we squander them, pretty ruthlessly.” This is the one thing that Explorer Junior has set out not to do. The early education startup wants to turn early education in Asia on its head.
Education in Asia is typified by long school days, mountains of homework and rote learning. The emphasis is on scholastic achievement in a race for university places and jobs. There is precious little time for creativity and innovation. And the pressure is on from as early as kindergarten. Explorer Junior wants to change this. The startup works to create exciting opportunities for little ones to explore the world around them and discover what interests them.
The founders of Explorer Junior believe that this one-size-fits-all, outcome driven, education system does not give each individual child the opportunity to reach their optimal potential. They believe that every child is a curious explorer and should be given the opportunity to do just that.
“We set out to research, design and develop a set of pedagogy to nurture the curiosity and creativity of every child that comes through our door, enabling them to build confidence and discover their unique interests,” Rong Xin told The Asian Entrepreneur.
Explorer Junior has various programs and workshops on offer to give each child the opportunity to explore to their heart’s content.
The enrichment program is conducted every week at top preschools, kindergartens and international schools in Singapore. Their programs are meant to nurture the natural curiosity and creativity of children through exploration and interactive experiences. The program covers more than 10 different modules and 100 topics.
There are also ad-hoc thematic workshops modeled on a wide range of interesting themes, for different age groups. These workshops provide learning fun for 1 to 3 hours and are based on specific subjects.
To keep little ones occupied and exploring, Explorer Junior offers unconventional learning activities aimed to build special STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) skill-sets. These themed holiday programs have been going for some years and are extremely popular with parents and children. Think about young minds and little fingers busy with 3D printing, coding, robotics, and web design!
And that’s not all. During the months of April, May, and June, children aged 5 -8 can participate in the Weekend Carnival Series, called Thinkubators. The endless themes to explore look so exciting, most adults would like to give it a try!
With the recent launch of Thinkubator, Explorer Junior hopes to expand the current set of activities and programs to the older age groups to prolong the learning process and advocate for lifelong learning.
Ng Rong Xin is a born and bred Singaporean and has traveled widely in Asia. Her greatest inspiration is her 84-year-old grandmother who still prepares Singaporean street food for her hawker’s stall.
The startup has great plans to expand its early childhood education program to other Asian cities and is already operating from Jakarta, Indonesia as well.
The startup’s expansion plans may very well get a boost with its participation and InnoVEX later this month. InnoVEX is the startup-focused exhibition of COMPUTEX TAIPEI. InnoVEX 2019 will see participation from 467 startups from 24 countries.
Explorer Junior, through their early childhood programs, is giving thousands of Asian children the opportunity to learn through fun and exploration, the best way for children to develop their own sense of curiosity.