Kid Chemist

Determined to get into dental school, Zahraa Mougnieh spent her gap year after graduating from Wayne State University studying while working as a paraprofessional in a local middle school.   

When her curious six- and seven-year-old nieces began observing her studying, she developed hands-on experiments to teach them advanced scientific concepts and saw them light up as they learned. As she juxtaposed that experience with watching students bored in class at her job, she had epiphany: There’s a demand for providing engaging, curriculum-based, hands-on educational experiences.  

The result is Kid Chemist, Mougnieh’s company that offers hands-on educational experiences for kids of all ages from experiential weekly chemistry classes and one-on-one tutoring to school assemblies and holiday parties. It also offers kits that tackle science experiments in a fun way; complete with a white lab coat embroidered with the child’s name.  

“Kid Chemist is about making learning as fun as possible so kids can grasp information easier. I fell in love with Kid Chemist as I saw the impact that I was having on kids,” said Mougnieh, who has worked as a tutor since age 16. “I found what my purpose was.”  

While the science and teaching came naturally to Mougnieh, and she put dentist school on hold to pursue the venture, the business side of things presented challenges.  

“The hardest thing is keeping up with everything. Just the finances, the taxes, and all of the things that go into running a business,” said Mougnieh. The 22-year-old found support in organizations such as ACCESS and the Arab American Women’s Business Council, both NEI grantees, which provided her connections, resources, and marketing support.  

Now having reached thousands of kids through Kid Chemist, Mougnieh is franchising the business with its second location in Novi.  

“Within five to 10 years, I want to be impacting kids across the nation and reaching them in every school. Whether it’s creating products or creating different educational experiences, it’s about positively impacting these kids,” said Mougnieh.