(Plain Press, September 2016) Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland (BGCC) new LEGO robotics program is designed to inspire innovative thinking and career readiness among members. A $5,000 investment by Quake Energy, an Ohio natural gas supplier, is allowing BGCC the program in partnership with Northeast Ohio Robotics Alliance.
BGCC intends to form up to five robotics teams at its school-based sites. The teams – made up of youth ages 9-14 – will assemble robots and compete in the FIRST LEGO League, an international program.
Clubs scheduled to participate in the program this fall include the Luis Munoz Marin and Walton clubs on the Near West Side as well as the Broadway, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Saint Luke’s and Garfield Heights clubs.
“We are extremely excited about this program and are grateful for the support of Quake Energy,” said Ron Soeder, BGCC president and CEO. “We are building a robust, high-quality STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program here at Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland in partnership with Cleveland Metropolitan School District. This initiative is part of that program.”
Soeder said STEM skills are necessary for navigating in the modern world and competing in today’s job market. He said the LEGO robotics program not only helps teach those skills but also allows kids to experience cooperative competition and build relationships across socioeconomic divides.
BGCC provides after-school and summer programs for youth ages 6-18 in Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, East Cleveland and Garfield Heights. Its programs focus on academic success, good character and citizenship and healthy lifestyles.