Where kids are the innovators
Raytheon, Boys & Girls Clubs establish 4 new STEM centers
Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Raytheon will open four new Centers of Innovation, facilities to inspire military youth to pursue science, technology, engineering and math, near military installations in 2019.
The new STEM Centers of Innovation will support local youth and military families in the following locations:
• Los Angeles Air Force Base Youth Center, El Segundo, CA
• United States Army Fort Meade Garrison Youth Programs, Fort Meade, MD
• United States Army Garrison Fort Gordon Youth Programs, Fort Gordon, GA
• Langley Air Force Base Youth Programs, Hampton, VA
The new centers join 14 such facilities across the U.S., including in Arizona, Hawaii, Utah and New Mexico, and at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. The centers provide military youth with access to such advanced technologies as 3-D printers, robotics and high-definition video production. A fully dedicated STEM educator will offer individual and group support, using real-world applications to help youth program participants develop their STEM skills and critical thinking.
“Youth Centers on military installations not only offer a safe and fun environment for military kids and teens, but they also help inspire them to discover their passion,” said Jim Clark, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “With the continued support from Raytheon, we can introduce more youth to STEM careers and help them create a career plan for their future.”
The STEM Centers of Innovation are fully supported by Raytheon’s $5 million, multi-year commitment to Boys & Girls Clubs of America. That commitment is part of the company's $10 million pledge to support military families and veterans.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of America network of 4,300 established clubs presents a strong and influential platform to serve diverse youth across America and on overseas military bases. Since 2014, its partnership with Raytheon has also enhanced its ability to engage with more young people by offering after-school programs focused on STEM education.
In 2016, Boys & Girls Clubs of America initiated a thought leadership forum that convened public and private leaders to create a road map for reaching the high percentage of military youth who live off of military bases. The organization’s “Better Together: Military Public-Private Partnership” program launched with a mission to identify “STEM-ready” military youth who are interested in pursuing post-secondary STEM related careers.
With Raytheon’s support, Boys & Girls Clubs of America are committed to ensuring that all clubs offer youth access to STEM learning experiences and all staff have access to STEM facilitation training opportunities. In the past year, Raytheon employees were among the 145 professional volunteers who added value to programming through instruction, events, experiments and software.
The Boys & Girls Clubs STEM curriculum delivers carefully designed, selected and operated programs that have been tested for quality, relevance and efficacy in its state-of-the-art STEM Centers of Innovation. Individual models are tailored for each community and key learnings are shared across the network. To date, Boys & Girls Clubs of America has established STEM programming in 2,200 Clubs and has reached 950,000 youth. By 2020, it plans to expand this program to operate 22 STEM Centers of Innovation and to offer STEM education in all of its Clubs.
“STEM education is a significant draw in terms of retaining and recruiting Boys & Girls Club teen members,” says Julie Teer, chief development & public affairs officer, Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “We’ve delivered this programming to nearly a million youth since launching the STEM strategy in 2015, and with Raytheon’s support we look forward to nearly tripling that number in the years ahead.”