Meet The Team
Owner and Director of Engineering for Kids of Phoenix Metro
Ron & Lan Hoagland - "Inspiring the Next Generation of Engineers"
Hello and welcome to your local Engineering for Kids page serving the metro Phoenix area! We're glad you are here! My wife, Lan and I started Engineering for Kids of Phoenix Metro back in 2013. We decided to get involved in STEM because we saw a need to help kids in our community see science and math in a new and exciting way! We wanted to help kids prepare themselves with the skills they will need to succeed in the rapidly changing, technologically driven society that we live in today.
When we launched our first spring break camp in March of 2014, we had seven kids enrolled in the camp. Fast forward to last summer and we had six summer camp locations that served close to 2500 kids! We are extremely grateful for the support we have received from the community, that has allowed us to continue to expand and bring these important programs to kids valley wide! We are honored to carry the torch for STEM education and hands on learning as the valley's #1 STEM Camp for Kids age 4-14!
Ron and Lan Hoagland: Owners and Program Directors. Based in Ahwatukee, Prior to launching Engineering for Kids, Ron worked for 15 years in Corporate Management roles and has significant experience in sales, marketing, leading people and managing both small and large scale project management initiatives. Ron has a Bachelor degree in Project Management. Additionally, Ron serves as the Vice Chair on Engineering for Kids Brand Development Council, overseeing a wide range of project initiatives to enhance curriculum and the Engineering for Kids global brand as a whole. Lan has a Bachelor degree in Science and is also a full time Charge Nurse at a local hospital, leading a team of nurses in the Neuro/Telemetry unit. Ron and Lan have 3 children, the youngest, being Preston who loves being a student at Engineering for Kids!
Both Ron and Lan have led the Phoenix operation to the top performing and top producing unit in Engineering for Kids Global franchise network for the past three years. They believe in developing and enhancing skills for both students and teachers alike. Everyone who participates in and helps bring these programs to valley kids grow from their experience with Engineering for Kids.
Program Manager - Zach Gray
Zach graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelor degree in Primary Education. Prior to joining Engineering for Kids, Zach previously worked as a 6th grade English and Language Arts teacher in the Deer Valley School District and as a Substitute Teacher in the Paradise Valley School District. Zach has extensive training and knowledge in STEM curriculum. In his free time Zach is an a cappella singer.
Zach joined Engineering for Kids as a Lead Instructor for our 2016 Summer Camps at AZ Air Time and has worked as a Lead Instructor at our other locations as well. In those roles, Zach demonstrated superior leadership skills, classroom management skills and creativity to ensure a great experience for both kids and families attending our camps in Scottsdale.
Zach was promoted to our Program Manager position in 2017. Zach overseas all aspects of curriculum and program development and implementation. Zach's passion for learning, creativity and expert teaching skills and methods make him a perfect fit to help lead our programs into the future!
Program Lead - Debbie Tanori
Ms. Debbie has over 30 years of experience in education in the Tempe School District. She earned a Bachelor's in Special Education and Master's in Educational Technology. Ms. Debbie has created and implemented innovative and engaging standards-based lessons and activities using a variety of proven strategies to increase student learning and growth. She's a excellent member of the team whose warm smile and welcoming personality are always appreciated first thing in the morning. Her proven record of reliability and good rapport with our families has earned her a spot on the management team for this summer, meaning she'll be helping us oversee operations all over town!
Program Lead - Celeste Williams
Celeste is the daughter of Ron and Lan, and has been part of the journey since the very beginning. She started as an assistant teacher and quickly moved up to lead teacher. She has various roles such as curriculum developer, facility lead, employee management, and supply-chain facilitator. Her love for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math has led her to a full scholarship in Engineering Management at the University of Arizona. You will often see her during her school breaks working for the family business.
Curriculum Manager - Laura Bristle
What Sets Us Apart?
- We Put Kids First! It's not uncommon for parents to tell us, I wish we had this program when I was a kid, or, where is the sign up for a parents camp? First and foremost we view our camps through the eyes of the child. If I were a kid today, what programs would I want to learn about? How would I want to learn about this? That is why we are constantly pushing the boundaries to provide the most extensive list of programs around. Kids are interested in a variety of things, and we view it as our job to provide an opportunity to explore many things, so they can find their passion! We also believe that kids should have time to be kids and play. That's why we partner with the coolest kid-friendly venues in the valley for kids. In this way, kids get a fully rounded camp experience!
- We Too are Continuous Learners! Like engineers in the real world, we know that there is always room for improvement and always a way to do things better than we did them before. Just like we teach our campers, we are always assessing what went well, what didn't work so well and how can we do things better. We value, listen and implement changes to our programs based on feedback from parents and students alike!
- We Love Our Teachers! The programs we offer are fantastic, but they are only as good as the teachers leading them! We invest a lot of time and energy to find the best teachers we can find. Our teachers love working with us because we provide an environment where they are truly empowered to use their skills and creativity to help kids shine! Our kids love our teachers because they are consistently stretching them to look at project situations in new and unique ways!
- 21st Century Teaching Pedagogy! At Engineering for Kids of Phoenix Metro, we believe in learning by doing! 25% of our time in camp is spent facilitating and 75% is doing. Facilitation occurs as a supplement to doing and is delivered in the course of doing and making. Facilitation happens throughout the course of the camp, not just at the beginning and end of the session. Teachers help facilitate by leading brainstorming sessions, facilitating reflection points and improvement sessions during the hands on work. Students have an opportunity to facilitate as well, to explain their work, give and receive positive and critical feedback so that they can learn from others as well. The result is a well rounded learning experience that is highly engaging for kids and develops the 21st century social skills needed to succeed in the future. Kids have so much fun, many times they forget they are actually learning something!
Stay up to date with new program offerings, promotional offerings and discount codes! We won't bombard you with emails. Just the pertinent information, when you need to know it!