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During the school year, she helps clients such as economic development corporation Urban Innovation21 and Erie, Pa., business consultants McCrary Group tweak Web pages and increase social media reach during the early afternoon and evenings, while kids rule the day and late afternoon. During the summer, work is either done during field trips on laptops and smartphones or pushed back until students are sent home.

She said her Productivity business has grown to a point of profitability, but it just breaks even due to reinvestments into TekStart, which charges parents the state maximum of $20 per day.

“In the summertime, we’re all day and my tech clients know that. They know for six weeks I’m available, but not as available,” she said.

As far as Urban Innovation21 president William Generett is concerned, delays haven’t had any effect on Ms. Williams‘ performance, considering his organization has seen its Facebook and LinkedIn followers jump with her aid. Beyond bettering his organization, Mr. Generett said, supporting Productivity means supporting a classroom strategy he hopes to see emulated far and wide.

Ms. Williams really has a model that benefits all kids,” he said. “You don’t hear that much about STEM education for day care. It’s increasingly important for (underrepresented) kids, but she has a model that everyone needs to look at.”

Some of her lessons have already caught on with Saint Vincent College’s Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media, said Michael Robb, director of education and research. He said the Latrobe center — which advocates for early childhood tech and interactive media education — will use a “Lunch and Learn” video filmed by a TekStart student on his MEEP Android kids tablet as an example on the center’s website of how to introduce technology learning at the earliest stages.

“Teachers need more ideas that are not just putting a kid in front of a TV or showing them an app and hoping they learn. This is very intentional, and that’s what we’re driving for,” Mr. Robb said.

For as draining as the sun up to way past sundown days have been, Ms. Williams said the work has more than paid off.

After putting $5,000 into equipment that includes three Android tablets, a desktop computer, a projector screen, a Nintendo Wii and endless supplies of earphones, TekStart has received $250 toward an iPad from the Pittsburgh Association for Educating Young Children, a $5,000 Recipes for Remarkable Learning grant from the Sprout Fund and will receive an Android tablet from the Fred Rogers Center in the coming weeks.

A reputation as an early childhood STEM advocate earned Ms. Williams an invitation from Aspinwall-based consulting firm BusinessForward to a White House Business Council briefing to discuss economic competitiveness for small businesses. The Feb. 10 meeting was canceled due to inclement weather and has yet to be rescheduled.

The greatest reward has been seeing youngsters who started with a fledgling interest in STEM shifting career plans from firemen to engineers.

Eleven-year-old TaSaun Harvey of Homewood, who has been with TekStart since first grade, has evolved from studying the broken TekStart Nexus to breaking apart and piecing together electronics in his own home. A love of cars fueled by annual TekStart trips to the Pittsburgh auto show pushed him to create an auto blog, and a trip to the University of Pittsburgh’s Engineering Fair has given him a new dream of mechanical engineering.

“At the mechanical engineers table, the man said he was working in a car factory and that he had to go build jets!” said TaSaun.

Calling Ms. Williams “a blessing,” TaSaun’s mother, Passion Harvey, said she hopes more children in her neighborhood find their way to TekStart and to talents they never knew they had.

“I hope people interested in STEM reach out to her. You never know what’s hidden in this neighborhood. There are so many hidden gems out here,” she said.

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