Much like learning a second language, exposure to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) at an early age prepares students for ongoing success in an increasingly technological world. …
Much like learning a second language, exposure to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) at an early age prepares students for ongoing success in an increasingly technological world. Unfortunately, elementary schools don’t have advanced robotics labs, and most parents can’t afford private coding lessons. A lack of available resources can impact a child’s educational trajectory.
In Jefferson City, a community-minded entrepreneur recognized the need and answered the call. Annette Alberts founded LabSpace Robotics in 2015 after her children spent years benefiting from research opportunities through 4H.
“One field trip or STEM demonstration might pique a student’s interest, but there aren’t many opportunities for continued exposure in our community,” Alberts said. “We wanted to create a place where parents could affordably give their kids a leg up in critical subjects.”
LabSpace Robotics provides a venue for children to explore coding, robotics, game design, 3D printing, engineering, and more through online and in-person workshops. The facility, located in Capital Mall, houses all the materials and equipment for kids and parents to safely experiment with technology and art.
LabSpace is also an official Girl Scout Community Partner and developed curriculum for various STEM badges. During the pandemic, the company offered programming for Scouts across the nation to remain involved with scientific exploration. The same online structure serves students in rural communities today.
Alberts told me the local area has rallied behind the idea and supported her dream. Local university professors and industry experts have hosted workshops on various topics while other businesses help keep prices down.
“Capital Mall has been a great place to set up shop. They understand our mission and have allowed us to keep costs low for parents and families,” she said.
LabSpace passes along the savings to its customers despite facing challenges inherent to operating a small business.
“Running a business is not easy. There is a lot of red tape to navigate on a regular basis, but we’ve made a commitment to our community and will keep learning as we go,” Alberts said.
I’m grateful for Annette and her team who continue to represent the very best Missouri has to offer. Not only do small businesses form the backbone of our economy today, but LabSpace is helping to prepare tomorrow’s leaders, as well.
If you are interested in learning more about LabSpace robotics, its workshops, or online offerings, email Annette@LabSpaceRobotics.com or call (573) 645-0800. You can also visit the LabSpace website for details.