HASTINGS, Neb. -- A local fitness center plans to use new grant money to jumpstart a robotics program for their education programs.
The Hastings Family YMCA has received a $10,000 grant from Union Pacific Foundation to fund STEM equipment and curriculum for youth development programs.
“STEM jobs are some of the fastest growing in the country and we want to provide an opportunity for our local youth to have access to this at a small age and grow it from there,” says Troy Stickels, CEO. “We also know that about half the kids in our community don’t participate in after school programs or sports, which can be very dangerous. Our hope is to engage them in STEM learning and activities as an alternative to being home alone or participating in unhealthy behaviors.”
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The Foundation money has been used to purchase robotics equipment and curriculum from Rokenbak Education. The YMCA plans to implement this for all our preschool and after school programs starting in January 2019. The next phase is to work with areas schools to introduce this in the classroom and implement summer camps for area youth.
“Our ultimate goal is to have Hastings be the center of STEM programming in this part of the State”, states Tabbie Metcalf, Childcare Director at the YMCA. “We believe that this can pay huge dividends for the growth and development of our youth and the future of our community and state.”
The YMCA is the nation’s leading organization for youth development, after schools’ programs and preschool. We believe that all kids deserve the opportunity to discover who they are and what they can achieve, under the guidance of adults who care about them and believe in their potential. We are for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.