Frequently Asked Questions - ISL (Innovators & STEAM Leaders)

We are so pleased you are considering our Innovators and STEAM leaders program.  As parents, we want our kids to have the best opportunities, and Kids Science Labs has a mission to enable the next generation of creative thinkers and leaders with the best hands-on science and teachers around.

At Kids Science Labs, we developed our Innovators and STEAM Leaders (ISL) program to enable students to attend two-days-a-week (Tuesday/Thursday) over the academic year. The ISL program provides five (5) hours of hands-on science engagement every week, giving children an advantage to practice problem solving, innovation, and developing a growth mindset that anything is possible.  


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a typical day?
A typical day involves students arriving at Kids Science Labs at 9am, in a small class size of 10-12 students. The day always begins with an engaging problem solving story, followed up by 3 to 5 hands-on science experiments, mid-day snack, and concludes with a creative design activity where students apply what they learned to design a functional project.  Kids will also have time for imaginative play and to customize their projects.  


How is ISL different from KSL Class
In terms of time, a KSL Class provides 75 minutes a week, all year long.  Students in ISL have the opportunity for up to 4x that amount of science with 5 hours (300 minutes) per week, all year long. Both our KSL classes and the ISL Program are based on nearly 400 classes of our uniquely developed curriculum.  The ISL programs differ from our classes in two primary ways:

  1. ISL students are built on communities that are consistent throughout the year (same parents, teachers, kids) which increases the amount of Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) within our classroom.

  2. The ISL program is unique in that it includes significant (4x) the learning and discovery opportunities, with a more specific allocated time on skill development in design, and engineering, and math.


Who are the teachers?
The ISL Programs are led by Kids Science Labs Full-Time Teaching Faculty in every center, a collection of educators, scientists, engineers, and artists that have come together with a passion for engaging kids questions and using science to enable their discovery. For the 2018-2019 academic year, the ISL Program will be led by our senior leadership team, which includes teachers with over 20 years of combined hands-on science learning at Kids Science Labs and over 35 years of teaching in early childhood, engineering, and hands-on learning environments.

What are the benefits to my child’s development?
Every parent works diligently to find the best opportunities that will truly help enable their child’s development. At KSL, this is important work and we are committed to engaging every child’s questions using science. We don’t believe in standing around talking, it just doesn’t fit the needs of a rapidly developing preschooler. In addition to being immersed in an environment which is inherently inspiring, students enrolled in our Innovators and STEAM Leaders program will receive:

  • Over 150 hours of hands-on science discovery

  • Outstanding teachers, dedicated member of our Teaching Faculty to engage every day to guide their learning

  • Over 400 hands-on science, technology, engineering, art, and math experiments over the academic year

  • An active learning environment that is structured around things your child wants to learn, from how a car moves, to what’s inside a refrigerator that keeps it cold, all backed by real hands-on science experiments

  • Enhanced neuroplasticity that is intentionally designed into our academic program to improve the connections that kids can make that give context to the world around them.

  • Well developed cognitive, gross motor, fine motor, language, and engineering problem solving skills.

  • An opportunity to express their creativity and design through daily hands-on learning activities

  • A differentiated classroom with a 6:1 student to teacher ratio in our ISL Program.


What time is the ISL Program Offered?
For 3-6yr olds, we offer two separate sessions for the ISL Program: (1) a morning ISL Tuesday/Thursday from 9am – 11:30am and (2) an afternoon ISL Tuesday/Thursday from 12:00pm to 2:30pm. 

Families enroll in either the morning or afternoon session, both of which are open to a group of 10-12 students and their families.  Beyond the problem solving, engineering, and creativity education that is inherent with ISL, we are also offering kids early drop-off at 8:30am or 12:15pm. Please note that if there is substantial demand, we will consider offering another ISL Program on Wednesday/Friday or an afternoon version.


What happens if my child is absent?
We understand that parents and their kids may travel, get sick, or have appointments that may not allow for them to attend class. Because the ISL program has a dedicated student population and a limited number of selective enrollment spots, your tuition is fixed. We do allow students who have a planned absence, to take a makeup class during any of our regularly scheduled classes during the week, which are offered in each of our centers on Tuesdays to Saturdays from 9am – 5:30pm.


Why do we offer this program?
Over the years, we have been asked by a large portion of our population, who were enrolled in weekly classes, for more opportunities to engage with science, our teachers, and our program. Parents have been asking for Kids Science Labs to offer an even more ambitious learning program for those students who had extra curiosity, and for whom, experimenting through science was offering them tremendous learning value.  We have been seeking for ways to offer more pre-school readiness programs, beyond the 1-day a week opportunity that we love, and after hundreds of parents requests over the years, we developed the Innovators and STEAM Leaders program for both Toddlers (parent-participation T/TH) and Pre-School (drop-off T/TH) students.


Do you have financial assistance for families in need?
Every child deserves access to outstanding teaching, beautiful facilities, and a program that enables and nurtures their development.  At KSL, we believe that it is our responsibility to help our families get access to KSL Program. We have supported a need-based scholarship program since our inception in 2011, and with ISL we will continue to provide financial assistance to those demonstrated need. If you have specific questions, please email us at and we would be happy to assist you.


What are the age requirements? Other requirements.
Kids Science Labs offers a two-day a week Toddler Discovery Program that is parent participation for kids 2 – 3.5yrs old.

We offer a two-day a week Innovators and STEAM Leaders drop-off program for kids 3 -6yrs old.  Kids that are enrolled in ISL must be potty-trained to participate in our drop-off program.


What is the Annual Tuition for ISL for 3-6 yr olds?
The ISL Preschool program (3-6 yr olds) is billed monthly at a cost of $520/month.  This equates to just $65/half-day (9am-12pm), which is about the same price as our awesome hands-on science camps that we have offered for years in Chicago and Seattle.

Lump sum payments for the entire academic year do receive a 5% discount.  Parents must enroll their child for at least 6 consecutive months to enroll in ISL. 


What is the Annual Tuition for the two-day a week Toddler Discovery Program?
The two-day Toddler Discovery Science Program for kids 2 – 3.5yr olds, is the toddler equivalent of ISL, and it has a tuition of $250/month. Parents register for 6 consecutive months, which may be billed monthly or in lump sum form with a 5% discount at a parents discretion.  Please note that graduating from the two-day a week Toddler Discovery Program also offers priority enrollment in the two-day a week Innovators and STEAM Leaders program the following academic year.


Why is there a waitlist and how are open spots communicated?
Students enrolled in KSL Classes and students who have attended our KSL Classes and Camps in the past, have first priority in selective enrollment into our ISL Program. When a spot becomes available, we will contact the parents on the waitlist.  Please note that Kids Science Labs makes every effort to maintain a diverse student population as it matters for the learning of our students and to our parents, who value diversity in all of its forms.


What happens in the summer (June, July, August)?
Kids Science Labs offers summer camp to all students during the June, July August period, which utilizes all classrooms in the center. Academic Year Programs, including our classes, day-off camps, special enrichment programs such as Innovators and STEAM Leaders, are all offered September – May.


When does enrollment begin?
Enrollment begins July 26th for the Fall 2018/2019 Academic Year. Applications can be submitted anytime and are reviewed as they are received.  All of Kids Science Labs programs are open enrollment. The ISL Program requires a $100 non-refundable application fee (it is allows for parents to reserve their space on the waitlist), which may applied to the deposit that is required for any student whom is admitted to our ISL Program. Admission will be notified via email and parents may be requested to attend an informal coffee and informational interview with our staff and leadership team at Kids Science Labs.


Can I speak to someone about the ISL Program?
We love talking about Kids Science Labs and the ISL program.  You can reach our ISL hotline at 773-569-8096.