It was early 2012 and I faced a decision that would change my future forever.
I had dedicated my life to raising the bar of education so that ALL children could be inspired to accomplish amazing things in the world.
I earned a Master’s in Education from Stanford University, spent seven years in the classroom, traveled to Africa as a Fulbright Hays scholar and earned National Board Teaching Certification (the highest level of certification a United States’ teacher can receive).
Now I was halfway through my maternity leave and I was preparing to sign a contract to head back to school the following fall. Our oldest son was just three years old and our youngest was an adorable six months.
Spending my days teaching filled me with so much joy and excitement but the thought of leaving our two boys tore my heart. I couldn’t pick up the pen.
With a huge leap of faith (and a lot of love and encouragement from my family), I took a path I never expected. I launched Playdough to Plato – a site dedicated to fun and effective learning.
Although I wouldn’t spend my days in the classroom anymore, I was eager to continue providing inspiring education to children. Playdough to Plato would help the next generation accomplish AMAZING things in the world!
As the site’s following grew, it quickly became clear that readers were eager for motivating STEM activities (science, technology, engineering and math).
It’s no wonder! Parents and teachers want their kids to be prepared for our STEM-filled world.
We need scientists to find cures to diseases.
We need computer developers to program the next “big thing”.
We need pilots to fly airplanes… and space ships…
In short, we need kids to grow up with a love for and understanding of STEM.
And that is how we were born.
We believe that every child can achieve greatness and we are excited to help YOU make every teaching opportunity count.
Welcome to The STEM Laboratory. We’re thrilled you’re here!
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Meet Our Team
Malia // Founder and Editor
Malia is a National Board Certified teacher who inspires educators with playful approaches to early childhood education. She earned her Master’s from Stanford University and has taught in Pre-Kindergarten through 2nd grade.
Malia shares her motivating learning activities on her two popular teaching blogs Playdough to Plato and The STEM Laboratory.
You can contact Malia by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Kimberleigh // Community Manager
Kimberleigh is the friendly face behind the scenes – responding to emails, chatting on our social media pages and helping with office to do lists. With a Bachelor of Arts and more than 10 years of professional nanny experience, she is deeply passionate about early learning and provides extensive first hand knowledge. You can reach her by email at hello@TheSTEMLaboratory.com.
Alex // Contributing Writer
Alex is a Kindergarten teacher with a passion for making learning fun and engaging. She earned a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education, and Masters Degrees in Special Education and Curriculum Design. She shares classroom ideas and inspiration on her blog, The Kindergarten Connection.
Crystal // Contributing Writer
Crystal is a homeschooling mom of three. After giving up an academic career in chemistry to stay home with her kids, she launched The Science Kiddo to focus on sharing science experiments with her children. She writes about science and math activities for kids, homeschooling, parenting, and carefree urban living with kids.
Erica // Contributing Writer
Erica is a first grade teacher with a Master’s in Literacy. She loves to try new things, organize, and share fun learning activities on her blog, The Simplified Classroom.
Erin // Contributing Writer
Erin is a blogger and homeschooler who writes at RoyalBaloo.com She loves making printables or pretty much any crafty activity.
Hayley // Contributing Writer
Hayley is a former kindergarten teacher turned stay at home mom who loves making teacher’s lives easier by providing fun and engaging ideas and tips for the classroom. She loves teaching the littlest learners and creating resources for the classroom. You can find Hayley over on her blog, ThePrimaryPost.com.
Kelly // Contributing Writer
Kelly is a Kindergarten teacher who is passionate about early learning. She loves creating engaging and hands on activities for students. Kelly shares tips and ideas on her blog: Sweet Sounds of Kindergarten.
Kristin // Contributing Writer
Noirin // Contributing Writer
Noirin is a former preschool teacher turned stay at home mom who loves finding fresh, fun ways to help kids learn. Her family enjoys spending time in their tiny urban farm with their chickens, bunnies, and rows and rows of crops.
Sommer // Contributing Writer
Tara // Contributing Writer
Tara is a former teacher turned homeschool mom of three. She has successfully homeschooled her oldest two and is currently homeschooling her youngest. Tara has always had a passion for preschoolers and early learners, and she enjoys creating educational activities and content for that age group. She blogs about homeschooling, preschool activities, and other educational topics on her blog, Homeschool Preschool.