Get ready New York, a new concept is opening up in Chelsea that promises give your kids the time of their lives while teaching them critical lessons about science and technology.
Genius Gems is a unique educational center and play place that furthers the pursuit of scientific learning by fusing education with fun and innovative hands-on experiments. The concept was established by founder Jennifer Romanoff, Ed.M, after watching her husband playing with magnetic tiles with their children. Deeply aware of the benefits of play for young children, Jennifer and her husband decided to create new opportunities to use the joy of play to foster a lifelong love of learning for future generations.
Their work with Genius Gems is by inspired the research of MIT Media Lab Professor Dr. Mitchell Resnick. Resnick’s research argues that a future filled with skilled designers, thinkers, and innovators will require a learning environment centered around the 4 P’s – “Projects, Passion, Peers, and Play.” Noticing a lack of appropriate options around them, Jennifer and her husband decided to create that learning environment themselves, and Genius Gems was born.
Contemporary research shows that play is one of the most important aspects of early childhood development. Children who play regularly with peers report higher test scores and stronger social development, but many educational programs fail to properly engage a child’s innate sense of play and wonder. Genius Gems seeks to remedy this by sparking the imagination of young learners with the excitement of science and technology. Through the use of magnetic tiles, Genius Gems presents numerous opportunities for guests to play and experiment, uncovering a lasting love for the joys of education.
Genius Gems launched their first space in 2018 in Millburn, New Jersey, and quickly discovered that their new idea was in very high demand. Celebrated for introducing new generations of children to the fun of scientific experimentation and discovery, Genius Gems earned numerous awards, including the Gold Medal for Best of Essex’s 2021 Best Children’s Party Place. Genius Gems was especially praised for their ability to bring people together from all walks of life, from dads and daughters to teens and grandparents, to celebrate the importance of science and technology.
Now, Jennifer and her team will be taking their innovative new concept to the heart of New York, where they intend to open up a new flagship experience at 555 Sixth Avenue. Encompassing nearly 10,000 square feet of space, their largest yet, Genius Gem’s NYC flagship will feature live classes, private parties and summer camps, as well as a new cafe and retail store that will offer coffee, wine, and beer for the adults as well as pizza, chicken nuggets, fruit cups, smoothies, and other snacks for the kids.
The new space will enhance the original concept with exciting new experiences like 2D and 3D design challenges (including 3D Printing), marble shoots, robot stations, a slime and glitter design bar, and a dedicated room for building in the dark. As stated by Jennifer in a recent press release, “this is a place where people connect tiles, and tiles connect people, and where we foster a love of learning at every age,” adding that “Now more than ever, New York needs a place where everyone can build and re-build in the real world together.”
According to Jennifer, she hopes to have the flagship location operational by the end of the year, but the schedule is still subject to change pending numerous variables. Curious readers can sign up for their New York waitlist in order to receive early access to tickets before they are released to the public, and you can follow Genius Gems on Instagram for regular updates on their new space as well as incoming details about new classes and special events.