Mother-Daughter Entrepreneurs Work to Advance STEM Education

[Part 1 ] Mother-Daughter Entrepreneurs Work to Advance Youth STEM Education

Photo: Kelley O. Williams & Rachel Williams
(Image: Thinkstock)

Promoting education in America is more important than ever with rates steadily dropping in key areas of study. How can children who are still developing their own fascinations utilize their power to drive change?

Rachel Williams: That is precisely what Paige & Paxton are all about. Children are already change agents–often unwittingly. They play a major role in household purchasing decisions. They also play a major role in other decisions that shape their future. A child interested in soccer will be showered with cleats, shin pads, and soccer balls on birthdays and holidays. He or she will undoubtedly spend a portion of summer at soccer camp. A child interested in ballet will finagle dance lessons. I’ll throw out my own experience with my youngest daughter, Jessica. She was interested in falcons–yes–falcons. Every visit to the library meant leaving with armfuls of books and DVDs on birds of prey and there were the endless trips to the bird section at the zoo. Then there was the nagging for a pet falcon, which I drew the line there. Today, she has a degree in Biology.

So children can and do set agendas. Children interested in STEM will request STEM related toys, games, materials, and experiences, and the adults will respond. Educators and administrators tend to commit resources to things in which students (and parents) have a demonstrated interest. Now it’s football programs and stadiums. Tomorrow it can be science fairs and chemistry labs. This is how children can drive the change at home and in the classroom and we would like Paige & Paxton to accelerate a paradigm shift.

Check out part 2 of this interview next week, where the Williams’ talk family business success and tips for raising capital.