Boys & Girls Club receives STEM grant

The Boys & Girls Club of Northern Chautauqua County recently received a National Grid STEM grant award through the Chautauqua County Education Coalition.

This award, in the amount of $3,500, enabled the club to purchase 10 tablets to carry out “Building Blocks,” a Boys & Girls Club of America program for youth members.

The Building Blocks program was designed to inspire youths’ curiosity in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and prepare them for 21st-century success. It includes a series of nine tablet-based activities for elementary- to middle school-aged youth. The core challenge is for club members to create a concept for an innovative design that could improve their communities.

Activities began by exposing club members to the products of engineering and civic innovation in the world around them. Club members then experimented with the skills that engineers use to build and plan. As participants progress through the three units — Inquiry and Exploration, Collaboration and Planning, and Project Design and Development — they learn more about STEM-based careers and the processes and skills that STEM professionals use.

National Grid has played a huge role in exposing local youth to STEM careers. They have made significant investments in existing STEM programming in Chautauqua County.

The Boys & Girls Club of Northern Chautauqua County is extremely grateful for this opportunity and thanks both the Chautauqua County Education Coalition and National Grid for their support. The club will be able to continue Building Blocks programming, reaching an additional 100 youths throughout next school year.

Dunkirk and Fredonia organizations in need of STEM programming support can apply for funding through the National Grid STEM Grant by visiting the Chautauqua County Education Coalition’s website at www.educoalition.com.

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