WizLab: Enhancing education by providing valuable and exciting solutions to K-12 classrooms

Sophia Mokotoff
Jul 9, 2024
WizLab team photo

Meet Katia Shek, SESP ‘26 and Adrian Ngan, University of Michigan ‘26, co-founders of WizLab. When looking back at their fondest memories in the classroom, Katia and Adrian both have experience as students and teachers, and believe that the most engaging and energetic classroom moments occur during fun, collaborative and competitive activities aimed toward common goals.

The idea for WizLab originated when Katia was volunteering at a Chicago elementary school, teaching grade 5 computer science. Overwhelmed by the high student-to-teacher ratios and wide range of learner diversity in the classroom, she wondered how to create something to support the teachers and a positive learning environment for every student. This question led to the creation of WizLab, a platform for experimenting with non-traditional teaching methods,  designed to personalize learning through diverse materials and engaging strategies, fostering inclusivity across all classroom types. WizLab offers solutions for K-12 classrooms, providing tools like customizable activity templates and data-driven insights without disrupting existing teaching systems. In this sense, the startup aims to adapt teachers' practices to modern learning environments.

What is WizLab? WizLab is a K-12 educational software that empowers educators to create differentiated learning experiences and transforms the classroom experience into an interactive learning hub. It enables teachers to design tiered assignments and activities tailored to diverse competencies and needs, ensuring personalized learning for every student. The platform supports dynamic active learning strategies such as jigsaw learning and think-pair-share, offering customizable templates and data-driven insights to enhance educational engagement and effectiveness.

WizLab captivates students while providing real-time and longitudinal data analytics to track their engagement and progress. Katia shared that “in just seconds, educators can transform their classrooms into dynamic, gamified learning environments, creating an engaging, dopamine-inducing experience that excites and motivates students.”

Designed with vibrant colors representing Northwestern purple and Michigan yellow, WizLab includes elements like potions, magic wands and gamified pets to enhance engagement for youth. While it’s designed for teachers to enhance their teaching experience, WizLab equally aspires to make students excited to come to class.

At its core, Adrian shared that with WizLab, “we want to replicate that experience of fun inside the classroom organically for students through our platform, making learning and engagement as fun and effective as any type of game played during recess.” In this light, WizLab bridges classroom excitement with academic progress, promoting healthy motivational habits among children and teens.

Through the Jumpstart program, Katia and Adrian have benefited from working together in a supportive environment. Despite attending different universities, the program has facilitated constructive collaboration and conversation amongst the two. Adrian shared, “Jumpstart gives us the place to have resources as well as the guidance to work on this while being together has been honestly in and of itself a great accelerator of our journey.”

Looking ahead, Katia and Adrian aim to uphold the Universal Design for Learning (UDI) principles, ensuring WizLab is accessible to all students, including those in underserved districts and those with learning accommodations such as dyslexia. They also plan to implement a 1-for-1 model, offering WizLab for free to under-resourced institutions for every paid client.

Katia and Adrian's mission is to inspire a lifelong love for learning through WizLab. By providing a diverse activities library, WizLab aims to reignite passion for education amongst students and teachers. In the future, they plan to develop an app for even greater accessibility and communication.

Ultimately, Katia and Adrian want to empower teachers, giving back to the educators who shaped their own love for learning. Katia shared, “We have been inspired to explore the possibilities of WizLab because we are so grateful for the pedagogy we have experienced from our teachers. This has fostered a lifelong love for learning for both of us, and WizLab is a project to thank everyone that has ever taught us.”

To learn more about this modern educational platform, check out WizLab here!

About the Author

Sophia is an incoming junior at UGA, studying Advertising and Business at The Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Sophia joined the team at The Garage as a summer intern to support the 2024 Jumpstart Pre-Accelerator program.