K-12 Enrichment Company Brains & Motion Education (BAM!) Launches Today

K-12 Enrichment Company Brains & Motion Education (BAM!) Launches Today

New After-school and Summer Camp Programs Offer STEM, Arts, and Sports Enrichment Nationwide With New Funding

 

San Francisco, CA - Today marks the launch of enrichment provider Brains & Motion Education (BAM!), a tech-enabled company unlocking the potential of students year-round through after-school, structured recess, and summer camp with STEM, arts, and sports programs. As the only nationwide provider with a focus on whole-child development, BAM! aims to stimulate young minds while keeping growing bodies joyfully active. 

In an ideal world, formal education inspires students and prepares them for the future in ways that build social and emotional skills, confidence, and subject matter expertise through a wide variety of hands-on, project-based activities. In reality, too much of the formal school day is boring for students due to constraints caused by standardized testing, teacher shortages, and how difficult it is for teachers to provide differentiated instruction to large groups of students. Additionally, more than 25 million students have no place to go after school and lack access to structured opportunities to develop skills outside of the school day. 

“Many schools would love to teach students how to play chess, program robots, develop computational thinking skills, create sophisticated digital artwork, become strong creative writers, and provide students with meaningful exposure to artificial intelligence systems through project-based learning,” said Bart Epstein, BAM!’s CEO. “There just isn’t enough time in the school day. These types of enrichment activities can and should be available to every student, regardless of their zip code.” 

Epstein, an education industry veteran, was brought in to launch the company from the assets of an enrichment company. An entrepreneur with decades of experience, Epstein’s work has impacted over twenty million students through his leadership at companies including Tutor.com, The Jefferson Education Accelerator, The Princeton Review, ASCD, ISTE, and as the first general manager of a Department of Defense education program that supports U.S. military families worldwide. During his years as a professor at the University of Virginia School of Education, Epstein founded and ran a national nonprofit that helps schools learn how to effectively implement complex STEM programs. 

Epstein credits much of his success in life to the teachers who sparked his curiosity and confidence through an after-school aviation and rocketry enrichment program. Twenty years later, he became a commercial pilot and civilian test pilot for NASA, and then an educator and entrepreneur.

The BAM! leadership team features other executives with extensive experience driving growth, scale, and successful implementations, including COO Kristopher Kasper, CMO Christina Yu, VP of Sales Lori Todd, VP of Product Jody Nova, and CFO Jennifer Thresher.

Due in part to the success of its after-school programs, BAM! has received extraordinary interest in its summer 2024 camp programs that include RoboKids, GameCraft, and MakersQuest which reflect new career exploration curriculum and new interdisciplinary STEAM programs, including animation, game design, creative writing, and machine learning. 

For schools, offering high-quality enrichment that includes a mix of physical activity and inspirational hands-on learning addresses an array of challenges in an easy, practical, and cost-effective way. “Providing our families with access to enrichment activities after 3 pm and during dedicated break times throughout the academic day helps us with some of the biggest problems in education at a fraction of the cost of formal education and at a small percentage more than basic after-care,” said Lesem Puerto, Community School Partnership Manager at the Children's Institute. “Students who attend inspiring project-based enrichment programs during recess and lunch, and beyond, are more engaged during the school day. That’s something that we all love to see.”

The company currently has a presence in ten key regions - notably San Francisco, San Diego, New York, Chicago, Boston, Denver, and Seattle - and intends to scale its after-school, summer camp, and structured recess programs nationwide.  

BAM! is supported by institutional investors including New Markets Venture Partners, LearnStart, Sand Hill Angels, Women’s Venture Capital Fund, JFFVentures, and Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator, whose collective investments in the venture now total more than $18 million.

The company’s Board includes Gerard Robinson (former Secretary of Education in Virginia and Commissioner of Education in Florida), Juan Zavala (New Markets Venture Partners), Mark Chernis (Princeton Review, SchoolNet, Pearson), and Rob Cohen (2U, Princeton Review, Oasis).

“We believe there is strong demand for BAM!’s products and are excited to support the company in driving improved academic outcomes and equitable access to enrichment beyond the school day for students across the country”, said Juan Zavala, Principal at New Markets Venture Partners, the lead investor in BAM!. “Bart and his leadership team have deep industry expertise and experience in scaling solutions for student success. Their mission is perfectly aligned with New Markets Venture Partners’ double-bottom line investment goals.”

“In after-school and summer programs, students are given the chance to discover their strengths, explore their interests, and connect the dots between disciplines in a safe, supportive, and fun environment,” said Gerard Robinson, now professor of practice at the UVA Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, and former Virginia Secretary of Education. 

 

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