Where kids are the innovators

Raytheon, Boys & Girls Clubs established 4 latest STEM centers

Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Raytheon have opened the four newest Centers of Innovation, facilities to inspire military youth to pursue science, technology, engineering and math, near military installations.

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 joined 14 such facilities across the U.S., including in Arizona, Hawaii, Utah and New Mexico, and at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. (See the full list at the end of this story.) 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.”

Below is a full list of existing Centers of Innovation 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
•    Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson, Arizona, serving families of the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base 
•    Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii, Ewa Beach, Hawaii, serving families of US Army Garrison Hawaii, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Marine Corps Base Hawaii 
•    Hill Air Force Base Youth Program, Utah 
•    Kirtland Air Force Base Youth Program, New Mexico
•    Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego, serving families of Naval Base Point Loma, and Naval Base San Diego 
•    Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pikes Peak Region, Colorado Springs, Colorado, serving families of Peterson Air Force Base, Widefield School District and U.S. Air Force Academy Youth Program 
•    Eglin Air Force Base Youth Program, Florida 
•    Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio, serving families of Joint Base San Antonio (Fort Sam Houston, Lackland Air Force Base, and Randolph Air Force Base) 
•    Joint Base Andrews Youth Program, Maryland 
•    Ramstein Air Base Youth Programs, Ramstein, Germany 
•    Boys & Girls Clubs of South County, Chula Vista, California, serving families of Naval Outlying Landing Field Imperial Beach 
•    Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Texas, Killeen, Texas, serving families of Fort Hood 
•    Boys & Girls Clubs of North Alabama, serving the families of Redstone Arsenal 
•    Harford County Boys & Girls Clubs, Aberdeen, Maryland, serving the families of the Aberdeen Proving Ground

Published On: 08/23/2018
Last Updated: 08/01/2019