From the Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford County:
It’s full STEM ahead to the future for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford County
Robotics, science projects, math tutoring, leadership skills and mentoring pave paths to in-demand STEM careers.
The fourth and fifth graders at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford County who will design, program and build robots each Thursday evening for ten weeks may not know it, but they could be embarking on a career in science and technology. That is exactly what Executive Director Randy Acosta had in mind when he brought together business leaders in Harford County’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) community with “Let’s Go Boys & Girls,” an Annapolis-based non-profit educational organization that seeks to grow the number of students who choose technical careers. The program will begin in the Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford County with a LEGO robotic program. Volunteers from local STEM companies will provide support and mentoring.
“Let’s Go Boys & Girls” provides a great curriculum and the technical support that we need so that our students can participate in robotics, science projects, math games and tutoring,” says Mr. Acosta. “We want to give students who may not think of themselves as future scientists a glimpse of what could be.”
The sessions, sponsored by Raytheon, will begin during the first week of March in the Aberdeen Club. The Mid-Atlantic Chapter of Women in Defense also contributed to the pilot project. “Everybody is talking about STEM,” says Susan Ciavolino, a Forest Hill teacher who is the local coordinator for the “Let’s Go Boys & Girls” program. “The President, industry professionals and educators at all levels agree that we need to increase the number of students entering the STEM education pipeline. The students will take part in fun, engaging activities that also teach critical thinking, teamwork and problem solving.”
Planned activities include LEGO Robotics, science projects that relate to sports as well as math games and tutoring. Scientists and engineers from local STEM industries will visit each class. There is also an emphasis on leadership, character development, health and self-esteem. A detailed curriculum guide allows volunteer teachers to carry out the planned activities each week.
“This program can change the perspective of so many people,” says Executive Director Acosta. “Certainly, it can change the lives of our students. But it can also show the community and local employers the potential that is in each one of our club members when they are given a chance to succeed.”
Within the year, it is expected that students in all four of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford County (Aberdeen, Edgewood, Bel Air and Havre de Grace) will be able to participate in “Let’s Go Boys & Girls” programming.
The media is invited to attend a session of Let’s Go Boys & Girls on Thursday March 10, 2011.The session begins at 4:30 p.m. Aberdeen Boys & Girls Club is located at 100 E. Bel Air Ave., Aberdeen, Md. 21001.
About the Boys & Girls Clubs: The Boys & Girls Club of Harford County was established in 1989 by a group of concerned citizens in the Aberdeen area. In its 20 year history, it has grown to 4 sites throughout Harford County and now serves more than 400 children and teens on a daily basis. Our mission is to inspire and enable all youth, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. The Club is open to all youth ages 6 to 18 and provides positive youth development; Health & Life Skills; Education & Career Development; the Arts; and Sports, Fitness and Recreation.
Let’s Go Boys & Girls is a non-profit educational organization that brings fun, hands-on STEM educational activities to out-of-school organizations (particularly those focus on underserved populations). The goal is to foster interest in science, math and technology careers and to provide long-term mentoring.