Parenting in Naples # 7: Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead

Full Steam Ahead

This is the seventh in my series of parenting tips exclusive to Naples, Florida parents.  Typically, I suggest an activity that a single, perhaps divorced, parent can do with their kids that’s engaging, safe and fun.  This time, I’m recommending an educational facility that does after school programs and camps.  If you work a 9 AM to 5 PM job your children are released from Collier County public schools at 2:50 PM.  You need to have something constructive for your children to do if you or the other parent are not available immediately after school.

I recommend Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead as the premier after-school center in Naples, Florida   Full S.T.E.A.M. ahead has a pick up and drop off from Laurel Oak Elementary to their location at (insert address).  Your children will be safely delivered to their location in an office park right off of Immokalee and I-75 where you can pick the children up until 8 PM.

Hillary and Ryan Shore are teachers who started Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead as an enrichment program to supplement Collier County School’s science, technology, engineering, arts and maths programs.  They are usually on-site at the Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead location and engaging with the children throughout the day.

Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead charges with a membership system.  You’ll need to purchase the S.T.E.A.M plus at $ 199 a month to take advantage of the after school program.   If you are separated or divorced you can ask the other parent to contribute financially to this kind of regular educational activity.

There are dozens of planned activities depending on the day that cater to the afterschool crowd. There are real 3D printers, robotics and programming classes, an arts program and, of course, Minecraft.

Minecraft is a videogame that a lot of the kids will be playing.  Minecraft is a different type of a video game in that it’s essentially a project rather than a distraction. Realistically, all these kids will be doing projects on computers in 20 years.  So, I’m always happy to see the kids playing Minecraft.

Beyond the usual after school activities is an open playtime between 6 and 8 PM where there’s a lot of Minecraft being played.  This flexible pick-up option is a boon to parents with hectic lives.

Full S.T.E.A.M Ahead has weekend hours as well. If you have more than one child and you need to spend one-on-one time with one child, this is a great place to drop the other kids off.  While kids need a lot of activity, sometimes you don’t want to pick children up who are sweaty, hungry and tired.

Another thing new parents don’t understand is what kids do during the holiday breaks.  Kids go to camps.  Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead hosts camps during all the holidays.

Personally, the thing I like most about Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead are the kids that go there.  There are a lot of camps and after school activities in Collier and Lee County.  Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead is where the kids go who are like science, learning and projects. Those are the types of kids that I want my kids to be around.

There are a million fun and educational things your child can learn at full steam ahead.  It’s important to be aware of what technologies are educational and what technologies are potentially dangerous.  Interacting with kid-positive tech-savvy people is the best way to do that.

Going through a divorce or separation shouldn’t mean that you turn into an activities director to prove you’re the better parent.  You have a lot going on in your life and while you should put the children first, you can outsource their activities.  If you can’t engage with your children directly, at least don’t outsource their afternoons to television.  Consider Full S.T.E.A.M. ahead and other constructive uses of their time.

Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead is just 6 miles from my Naples, Florida family law office.  Directions are below:

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