What Families Are Saying…

The Innovation Institute is a leading academic enrichment program but it is also learning community, in which families make new friends, share resources and often linger after class to continue conversations. We are so pleased that families see themselves as part of the Ti2 community.

Ask a Ti2 family and you will learn that we are responsive, nurturing and exceeding their expectations. Here is what families are saying...

Sometimes, you instinctively know that you’re in a special place. Perhaps the childrens’ giggles, the comfy chairs, and the filtered light from the stained glass windows, are a clue. You know you are somewhere where you are going to feel at home, where you will teach, learn, laugh and grow. That place is The Innovation Institute.

I have taught physics, chemistry, and engineering classes at TI2 for the past two years, and it has been a delightful and rewarding experience.

I have worked with varied students, of different ages and backgrounds, each bringing individuality, creativity, and passion for the sciences. It’s a wonderful challenge to develop ways to communicate complex ideas – sometimes traditionally only taught in college and beyond - to children who are thirsty to learn. It’s extremely rewarding to watch ideas “click,” as when a class of preteens invented calculus on their own, to describe the physics they were observing!

As a scientist/engineer, I grew technically, since nothing tests the understanding of the fundamentals like a class of eager - and perhaps a bit argumentative – junior scientists. At the same time, I honed my teaching skills. Of course, all growth brings with it some growing pains, and I was extraordinarily supported through mine – through comprehensive teaching resources, excellent scientific equipment (electrophoresis and spectrometers and robots, oh my!), and through the support and mentorship of warm (and supremely talented!) colleagues.

I would unequivocally recommend teaching at TI2 for any scientist or educator hoping to transmit the spark that brought us to science.
— Serena Faruque, PhD, Electrical Engineering, Stanford, May 2019
As a student and as a volunteer, my experience at the Innovation Institute has been wonderful. As a student, I took classes in Python and Material Science. The Python class was the first time I was exposed to programming, and since then I have become very passionate about it. In fact, I get to use some of my programming skills to help as a volunteer.
— Mark, May 2019
The Innovation Institute took the natural curiosity my kids had at young ages (1/2nd grade to start) and has nurtured it and grown them into capable and competent students of science in their tweens. We have attended for years and due to the depth and experiential nature of the learning at TII, they feel at home in disciplined lab environments, they have deep understanding of the principles of scientific inquiry, they can connect dots across disciplines and between everyday life to what they have been studying under microscopes, and in the lab. They love science. The staff team are passionate scientists serious in their study and thrilled to share their love with eager minds. In a city filled with institutions and learning opportunities, we have never regretted prioritizing time and resources for The Innovation Institute in our children’s growth. It has been the best decision.
— Valerie Grabiel, May 2019
The Innovation Institute employs very talented staff who is passionate about teaching science to kids. We are attending classes in the last two years and our daughter loves all the experiments they are doing every week: making ice cream using dry ice, photosynthesis and chemical reaction experiments, learning everything from biology, animals, to space. The classes are flexible to cover any subject in depth based on kids interest level and questions. One of the best educational activities for kids...
— Banu Mattuchio, April 2019
Excellent group of people! Our daughter loves coming to class. We would highly recommend sending your children here to learn
— Sandra Brinker, April 2019
Innovation Institute seals the gap in the need for science education in public schools. We started sending our kids to Innovation Institute from grades 2nd and 3rd. At the time I felt like it was a prayer answered as I could see a huge lack in the curriculum for Science in the public school system.My kids really enjoyed it, however, amongst all the various activities that my daughter was into, among ice skating, violin, dance, gymnastics, our schedule was too hectic and we almost dropped science. Thanks to Jennifer’s encouragement and emphasis on girl’s engagement in science and math between grades 2 – 4, my daughter now loves science! I never thought that she would be excited to share how the kidney functions or dissecting a sheep’s brain to learn about the Chemistry of Human Body Systems!My son who is academically a year older, thrives on the intellectual challenge and asked to join Innovation Institute again after a short break that we had taken as he felt that that was the only place he was really learning something! We’re so grateful to Jennifer’s thoughtfulness in placing kids appropriately based on their social and intellectual abilities, the attention given to hiring the right teachers and all the effort that goes into making the curriculum fun and engaging!

— Janhavi, September 2018
The Innovation Institute is an integral part of our homeschool curriculum. We learned about the Institute’s programs from another family when we were considering whether, and how, to change our child’s learning environment. He had always gravitated to math and the natural sciences, and had an aptitude beyond the topics he was offered in elementary school. The Innovation Institute has been an anchor for him and a space for playful, intellectual challenge for almost three years now. He began dissecting organs and learning about human body systems; in various camps outside the standard school year, he designed basic supports for treatment of ailments in Biomedical Engineering and also studied the anatomy of marine creatures as a way to understand ocean life and ecosystems. His true love, however, is biology on the cellular level: though he is just 11 years old, he’s had an opportunity, because of Ti2, to study microbiology, nano-worlds, molecular biology and genetics in a substantive, if kid-sized and kid-paced, manner. True laboratory science for children is hard to come by. Programs that lean in that direction, or advertise themselves as such, often lack the proper equipment or teach science through an edutainment lens. Ti2 offers in-depth, year-long courses with working scientists, who teach concepts and processes as well as lab protocol and respect for the experimental process. The year-long format allows a child to immerse him/herself, so when a question emerges weeks or months later—an observation from class meeting some story heard on the radio or read online—there’s somewhere to bring it and gnaw on it with others. Ti2 provides the time and space for young minds to learn in a way that suits them, both in their peer-groupings and as individuals. Jennifer Montana, the Director, and her staff care deeply about each of their students, facilitating course selection and growing interests. Our child has thrived at Ti2, and we’ve seen his friends thrive as well. As a parent, it is heartening to know that such a program exists: an institute with a scientific and pedagogical mission, where the students engage actively, hands- and brains-on, in genuine inquiry about the world and how it works. I am certain that my son will carry his experiences of Ti2 into his future work and education. He’s learned so much not just about science, but also about himself while attending Ti2.
— Christine Cooper, March 2019
Unfortunately, [our daughter’ schedule will mean giving up at least one of her current activities, but when I initially brought this up a few months ago, she said, “Well, one thing I *definitely* don’t want to give up is Innovation Institute.” It looks like we’ll sacrifice a dance class instead 😊 I’ll sign her up for IDD II shortly.
— Young-ho, Parent, May 30, 2017
Thank you Jennifer and Vivek for all your support and for the excellent program!
[Our daughter] is having a great time and very excited to keep learning. My husband and I appreciate very much your time with her.
— Patricia, Parent, May 20, 2017
Hi Jennifer,
[Our daughter] really liked the last class on Stem Cells. The whole focus on Microbiology has been awesome. Thank you so much! I wanted to write a special thank you for being an encouraging, brilliant, woman of science in [our daughter’s] life. We can’t tell you how much this means to all of us. You are incredible. You are so positive, inspiring and supportive. Thank you for making science fun and exciting. Thank you for believing in [our daughter]. When [she] comes home, she tells me how enthusiastic and passionate you are when you talk about the material. This really fuels her. I know that she sees so many possibilities because of you. In our eyes, you are a true educator of the highest caliber. We are so grateful for all of your hard work and dedication.
— Email from Amy, Parent, March 4, 2017
The Innovation Institute has played a key role in encouraging, nurturing, and expanding my son’s enthusiasm for science. I don’t know of a school where he could have found equivalent instruction at his age. There is a big difference between between teaching a kid about science and helping a kid become a scientist. The Innovation Institute, where students don’t just follow a textbook along with an educator, but work on experiments alongside experienced and professional scientists, has helped my son develop an understanding of the scientific world today and of himself as a budding scientist with a place in it.
— Gareth, Parent, June 26, 2016
Locals. For those of you keeping your ears open for science opportunities for your kids .... I just wanted to share that Ella just finished an amazing science camp — Innovation Institute in Newton - biomechanical engineering. It was expensive and far for us (from Dorchester) but worth it (they do offer financial aid). They also did extra outreach to her encouraging her as a girl interested in science. They did things like learn about cardiac function, observe a lambs heart dissection, and design new heart valves. I learned a lot from her this week!
— Follow Up Post, Jenny, Parent, August 2015
Thank you for the powerful and life changing education you gave [our daughter] this week along with the mentoring (and free ginger ale!). As you know [she] really wants to take another bio focused course with Sarah Grace...
— Jenny, Parent, August 2015
Dear Jennifer,

We wanted to say thank for making it possible for our children to join your institute last year. It was a wonderful and exciting opportunity for us. John and Anne are grateful and appreciate your kind gesture. They have learnt so much over the past months and have gained more interest in science and are determined to work as hard as necessary to gain admissions to Harvard or MIT God willing, in the future . A few weeks ago John discovered on the Internet that he was published in the Harvard Gazette for an interview he gave at the DNA lecture last year. That really surprised and encouraged him too. Thank you for helping us build their interest in science.

God richly bless you, your family and business.

Thank you!
— Email from Sam and Mary, Parents, July 2015
The Innovation Institute (TII) is the best hidden gem in greater Boston for curious kids who want a hands’ on approach to learning real science. I was thrilled when a friend introduced me to TII last year when my son was in fifth grade. He enrolled in a course on renewable energy that was fantastic - studying real world issues, working in teams and being creative. He loved every minute of it! He’s continued at TII in sixth grade and topics continue to challenge ... *****Rating to Ti2
— Google Review by Alison Meyer Hong, Spring 2015
We are huge fans of The Innovation Institute. Our son loves learning, so The Institute has been a great place for a weekday class, vacation programs and 3 weeks in the summer. They have small classes, engaged and knowledgeable teachers and a very hands-on curriculum. The material is age-appropriate but sophisticated. Our son come comes home discussing light rays and i can barely follow. And he’s ... *****Rating to Ti2
— Google Review by Michael Cohen, Winter 2015
Amazingly engaging and fun for kids who are hungry for science. The level of rigor combined with real connection with the teachers has been very rewarding for our son. ***** Rating to Ti2
— Google Review by Simeon Simeonov, Fall 2014
Our son attended Innovation Institute for his whole 5th grade year, and it was an incredible experience for him. Jennifer and her teachers exude enthusiasm about, and appreciation for, kids’ curiosity, questions and excitement about learning. Innovation is most definitely a place where it is cool to be smart and cool to CARE about science and math and engineering. It’s not always cool to be a 10 year-old-boy who wants to talk about wind turbines or friction or what available materials will help a toy car bounce better when it hits a barrier. Innovation provided a safe, comfortable and engaging environment for our son to express his innate curiosity and be rewarded for his enthusiasm. And, from his perspective, he would probably say that it was simply an enormous amount of fun. Innovation Institute is a local treasure.
— Christina, Parent, August 2014
I wanted to share with you that one of the wonderful things that [my son] took away from getting to know both Matt and Hanny is a sense of hope and empowerment around climate change. Kids are so often taught about the environment/climate change in ways that are frightening and disempowering and it has been great to see how having the opportunity to meet scientists who are working on problems related to climate change can counteract that.

I hope you have had a great summer. We are looking forward to class starting soon!
— Third Grader's Parent, August 2014
When I stopped in to check out the whole scene, I was tremendously impressed with the combination of inquisitive investigations with serious, studious pondering, with spontaneous joy, as when a group of 7/8 year olds gleefully decided to have their snack in the beautiful pyramid they had built this week. I’m 71 and a retired family and child therapist, but before that I was a ghost-writer for famous physicists (not their papers for Phys. Rev., but science and public policy speeches for congressional committees, etc.) As American Physical Society liaison to the Education Committee, I reviewed and recommended for support many alternative science education programs. The Innovation Institute gets an A+. The staff are connected to MIT, and bring their brilliance and contagious enthusiasm to their work with children, all of whom (as we know) are natural scientists before rigid public school systems bore them and turn them off.
— Edy Rees, Grandparent, July 2014
Grace has really enjoyed her Genetics and Neuroscience class. She goes once a week for two hours, and the teaching is excellent and the subject matter very well geared to the age group. Grace has been interested and easily learning about the subject material without feeling like she has to slog through the usual “Boring science stuff” she’s accustomed to from regular school. The other day she mentioned to my husband Dan (a neuroscientist at Novartis) that she was studying gene expression and its effect on embryonic development. He was blown away, and said “Grace! That’s what I do all day, did you know that?” Then the other night, in a similarly offhand way she mentioned that yes, she new what neurotransmitters were, GABA, acetylcholine, etc.... As if the subject were a. interesting and b. it was no big deal that she already knew about it!
— Ann Curtis, Parent, May 2014