Thousand Oaks, Calif.—The Southeast Ventura County YMCA and the Columbia Memorial Space Center have collaborated on a new advanced STEM program for local middle schoolers. The YMCA’s STEM Club begins October 19 with virtual meetings.
The program is divided into three units—-Aerospace (October 19 through December 18), Solar Chemistry (January 18 through March 26) and 3D Printing and Robotics (April 12 through June 18). Club members meet Monday through Thursday from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. (virtually and when approved, in person).
The STEM Club units were designed by staff from the Columbia Memorial Space Center in Downey. The center opened in 2009 and is recognized as the national memorial to the space shuttle Columbia and its crew that were lost in 2003. It is a hands-on learning center and is dedicated to sharing the excitement of science with the public. Columbia staff members will lead the STEM Club meetings.
“Sixth, seventh and eighth graders with a desire to have a hands-on learning experience using science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) will love the Y’s STEM Club,” says Tori Cusack, the Y’s enrichment classes director. “It’s an opportunity to take what they’ve learned in school to the next level.”
The club curriculum includes rocketry and exploring space. Participants will build with club-provided LEGO Mindstorms education kits and create objects with 3D printers.
“STEM Club is a great example of how the YMCA is so much more than ‘swim and gym,'” says Cusack. “The Y is always creating new ways to engage and inspire kids, adults and the community. Our board was actively involved in working with the Space Center and a generous, anonymous grant provided funds to help underwrite much of the costs.”
The fee is $49 per unit and includes club materials. The units do not build upon each so parents can register their kids for all three units or a specific unit.
To sign up to receive more information about STEM Club, go to www.sevymca.org/STEM.
Southeast Ventura County YMCA
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