Tag Archives: head of the class

Head of the Class Dad, Scott Heifetz

Meet Head of the Class Dad, Scott Heifetz—Founder and Director of Launch Math + Science Centers—and an amazing parent!SH-with-Kids

Tell us about yourself. Why did you start Launch Math + Science Centers?
I’m an aerospace engineer by trade, with many years of experience running small businesses. When I was growing up many of my friends did not appreciate math and science. Until they entered college and realized that math was the language of the many fields they wanted to pursue (physical therapy, architecture, etc.) did they realize they made a mistake by choosing not to pursue math and science courses throughout high school. Launch’s mission is to inspire and motivate children to love and learn math and science in the hope that kids will realize that these subjects are the key ingredient to doing “fun stuff” as an adult (like building rockets!). We accomplish this goal by providing engaging math instruction and exciting STEM enrichment classes for kids from toddlers to 8th graders.

What is your secret to balancing work and family? Is there a balance?
It’s difficult. There is no secret. I am an absolute workaholic but I also try to be the best dad I can be. I have two girls ages 5 and 2. There is nowhere else I’d rather be than with them.

Share a funny story that helped you become a better parent and/or better at your job.
I’m not sure if this story applies but… Before I got married I wasn’t quite sure if I wanted kids. Indifferent you might say. I also wasn’t sure I had the patience for kids. So what did I go and do? I started a business that requires 100% involvement with kids. I didn’t do it because I loved kids. I did it because I was extremely passionate about inspiring kids to pursue math and science. The bonus that came from the experience of starting the business was that it turns out I love kids and I do have patience for them (more for them than myself).

What has been your biggest challenge and/or greatest reward in the struggle for work-life balance?
The challenge has been to accept less than perfection in my professional life so as to provide what I want for my kids (in terms of time).

What is one thing you wish you knew before you had kids?
That I would enjoy them as much as I do because I might have started earlier!

If you could give other dads one piece of advice what would it be?
Expose your child to as much as you can (in terms of what the world has to offer), and let them decide what they want to do with their lives. Intrinsic motivation is more powerful than anything else.

QUICK Q’s:

What is your favorite children’s book? Iggy Peck Architect
What has been your favorite kids’ class (other than your own!)? Swim class, mainly because it’s a full morning family activity on Sundays.
What is your favorite thing to do with your family on weekends? Besides swim class, going to the playground.
What is your favorite rainy day escape? A princess movie with my 5 year old.

Learn more about Launch Math + Science Centers and reserve your child’s spot now for their upcoming STEM-focused winter break and summer camps.

Head of the Class Mom: Beth Rosenberg

Meet this week’s Head of the Class Mom, Beth Rosenberg, a Brooklyn-born mother of two and founder of Tech Kids Unlimited.

familyTell us about your family and your career. Why did you start Tech Kids Unlimited?
I live in lower Manhattan with my husband, daughter, son, and two cats. I have a B.A. and an M.A. in art history and spent the early part of my professional career in the museum education world at the Guggenheim Museum. After my daughter was born, I went to work for the Eyebeam Center for Arts and Technology in NYC. Later I had my son who has various special needs. When my kids got older, I went back to school to get an M.S. in educational technology because I saw the value of using tech to teach and learn.

Inspired by my son’s challenges and his love of technology, I founded Tech Kids Unlimited, a not-for-profit organization that teaches 21st-century technology skills to kids who learn differently. I am concerned that kids with learning and emotional disorders are not given the opportunity to learn technology, as their school days are packed with therapies and remedial tutoring. I also started Tech Kids Unlimited out of my fear that after age 21, kids with disabilities have a difficult time finding employment. I want special needs kids—often consumers of tech—to become the next generation of techies to produce digital culture and find jobs.

What is your secret to balancing work and family? Is there a balance?
I’m always working. When I’m not working, I’m making giant to do lists of what I need to accomplish! I was playing Backgammon with my daughter the other night and she had to take my phone away because I was trying to multitask and reply to emails. I work a lot at night after my kids are set with dinner and homework.

What has been your greatest reward in the struggle for work-life balance? 
The greatest reward of being a working mom is showing my kids the value of knowledge as it relates to work. I like my kids to know that work is part of life—it doesn’t stop just because you are an adult. The year my daughter graduated high school was the year I received my second master’s degree, so it was a wonderful year of accomplishment for both of us.

What is one thing you wish you knew before you had kids?
I wish someone told me to take more pictures and videos when my kids were younger. I wish I wrote down all of their funny sayings in a notebook. I wish I enjoyed it more through the chaos of the everyday minutia.

If you could give your children one piece of advice what would it be?
Have one grand passion. Find what you love to do, and become really skilled at it.

QUICK Q’s:

What is your favorite children’s book?
The Harry Potter series. It has the right amount of mystery, narrative, and fantasy.

What has been your favorite kids’ class?
I enjoy being in the Tech Kids Unlimited classes with my son. I’m always watching him from the sidelines and worried that he is not paying attention or focusing. But then last year in a class, he showed me how many lines of code he wrote and I was thrilled.

What is your favorite thing to do with your family on weekends?
I like our weekend shopping trips together, whether it’s for new shoes, snacks, juice, or bathroom essentials. I also enjoy family time at a museum—it may be harder to come by, but I usually get my way on days near my birthday!

What is your favorite rainy day escape?
I like watching movies: old, new, foreign, and independent. I also like binging on a great TV series. Right now I’m watching Friday Night Lights and although it’s about Texas and football—which I know little about—I’m intrigued by the dynamics that take place at the school, with the families, in the community, and more. It’s a slice of contemporary American small town life.

Find out more about Tech Kids Unlimited on Kidz Central Station, and sign up your little techie for one of their upcoming summer workshops!