By Mike Schuh

TIMONIUM, Md. (WJZ) — Two local men, Tim Rhode and Ed Mullin, have come up with an idea that could create a new industry. The founders of the Star Academy say they are planning to open two or three regional locations and are looking at franchising.

It all started when Mullin, one of Star Academy’s founders, couldn’t get into a competitive S.T.E.M. team in middle school.

“We decided there needed to be a place for a space, like the YMCA, for technology that people could come seven days a week.” Mullin said.

The Academy runs continuous camps in a warehouse throughout the summer, after school, or at night for adults. At the camps, people can fly drones, run robots and have ten other classes all going at the same time.

Like a health club, they offer memberships.

“When we had our first event, and people walked in and said this is awesome. How can I sign up, how can I get my family a membership?” Rhode said.

Their goal was 100 summer camps. They have 150.

And it’s more than an experience, they say this provides hope and self esteem. All while kids learn skills that lead to good jobs.

“Our key ingredient is we left fun in the STEM. So many other activities are so much like school. People do not want to have their birthday parties at school.” Mullin said.

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