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How STIIX Founder Alex Reader Is Revolutionizing STEM Education

From episode: Transforming STEM Education with Hands-On Experiences, Engineering Resources, and Diversity in Focus

You're the founder of the STEM Career Readiness Organization called STiX in Arizona that works with a lot of school districts around the country. Tell us about yourself and your organization, please. Sure. Where do you want me to start? Because I feel like myself is my organization. That's what I spend the bulk of my time doing, frankly, is working on STiX. But personally, I have an engineering background. I live here in Arizona, like you said. This is home for me and home base for STiX. I don't know if you even know this, Ayo, actually, but I'm actually a sucker for acronyms. STiX stands for solving technicalities with imagination, innovation and excitement. And I guess long story short, we're a curriculum product. And of course, we've pivoted along the way as the identity of STiX and what we do is change. But we work hand in hand, custom side by side with school districts and organizations just to help them out with their STEM initiatives. And everybody's got them, right? Everyone recognizes the importance of this stuff. So it's really an honor to use our user friendly platform combined with all this, all these crazy materials behind me to really come alongside them and serve them and all the awesome kiddos that they help work with. Excellent. Excellent. And thank you so much for defining that acronym for us, STiX. That was going to be one of my questions. There was a little bit of a method to the madness. By the way, I love it. I love it. Can you say it again? So the STiX stands for what again? It stands for solving technicalities with imagination, innovation and excitement. And it just goes back to that is a passion of mine, right? Being creative, working with their hands in that open ended design challenge environment. And thank you for the nice words. I like it, too. I wear a lot of hats as the founder of the organization, but that's one that I cannot take credit for. I'm colorblind, funny enough. So branding and logos and all that stuff was not me. So I can't take credit for that. But I appreciate the kind words. Excellent. Excellent. I'm really excited to learn more about your company. How long have STiX been around? Short answer, a little over three years now, which is to say out loud. And like I said, we have pivoted a little bit. We started as a subscription model where we're trying to sell these individual STEM kits as a subscription to families. And that was great for a bootstrapping operation at first. Right. So I was knocking on doors trying to sell that. And then we pivoted when we started getting some traction to schools. And that's been a really rewarding thing for us because naturally with that original business model, we were targeting families who maybe had some disposable income, who valued education, et cetera. And now we get to work with schools who could really use the help and all their STEM initiatives. So on top of allowing that to grow our business and impact, it's been really rewarding personally, helping impact kids that could use it and appreciate these STEM experiences a lot more, too.

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