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Newton's Innovation Institute Inspires and Engages Children Through Science

Founder and Executive Director Jennifer Montana leads the programming at the institute and manages a team of highly talented scientist, engineers and educators, who make up the teaching body.

At Ti2, students have the opportunity to learn from experts in various scientific and computer engineering disciplines, who hold advanced degrees in their fields of study. Classes meet once per week from September to June, and last two hours. Additionally, there are tailored programs available for home schooling, after school, on weekends, and during academic vacations to fit everyone's schedule.

At Ti2, learning happens by immersing students in inquiry-based science and engineering while allowing them to practice their skills through hands-on exercises and homework. Montana says that the basic philosophy of the institute is founded upon engaging students in facilitated inquiry while developing and strengthening their critical thinking skills.

These skills, in turn, promote the kids' creativity and imagination, and give them an excellent foundation for studying higher level sciences in high school, college and beyond. In addition to learning basic scientific methods and concepts, students are inspired to expand their interests to other areas of scientific inquiry.

The most effective and impactful agents of change in society employ both critical and creatively entrepreneurial thinking in order to transform their field of work, be it bioengineering, journalism, or medicine. Fostering genuine interest and curiosity in the sciences from an early age is absolutely critical to producing innovative leaders in science, business, government, and other fields. The Innovation Institute helps kids develop discernment and self-discipline which allow them to overcome the intellectual challenges of a scientific discipline and experience the rewards of their work.

"Creativity emerges in recognizing new ways to understand and potentially have an impact upon the natural and built worlds," says Montana. Ti2 helps students flesh out their inquiries about science and to come with answers and solutions in a creative way. Montana doesn't consider the Ti2 a business. Prior to opening Ti2, she founded an economic competitiveness consulting practice within a narrower business perspective and loved her work. Striving for excellence and impact was a consistent force behind Montana's efforts, leading her to find Ti2, which evolved naturally from her previous venture.

However, one important distinction that separates Ti2 from Montana's earlier consulting practice is the break away from the traditional bottom line which she deemed to be too narrow and short-term in its vision. "At Ti2, I think that we have a rare privilege and responsibility to serve children," Montana emphasizes.

Running a lean business model and being accountable to her stakeholders are two important precepts that Montana adheres to. Through an entrepreneurial mindset, Ti2 is able to fulfill its commitment to its students and their families, produce tangible learning results, and develop lasting partnerships with Boston's scientific community in both academia and practice.

For more information please feel free to check out their website at www.theinnovationinstitute.org.

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