In Jan 2017, the Apache Behavioral Health Services with support from the NAIC created an after school program around engineering and robotics. The STEM program included an assortment of activities including robotics, 3D modeling, 3D printing, programming small devices, and microcomputers. The program reaches kids from first grade through eighth grade.
Why it’s important?
Robotics is a great way to get students excited about STEM and to engage them in complex, strategic problem-solving. It introduces students to concepts and skills that are needed for understanding the intelligent, highly interactive information-based technology of the future.
The organization is working to bring more robotics and STEM resources to McNary and surrounding areas to give students in rural communities access to the resources they may not have otherwise. The program has grown from one group solely focusing on robotics to multiple facets of STEM for many ages, with continuing programs in high school.
How they did it?
With the funding from RAIN, the group was able to purchase the necessary materials to help the program succeed. So far the program has nearly 30 students in the club and is continuing to grow and offer more programming and materials to the students. The afterschool program has helped develop a greater understanding and appreciation for STEM. The grant work in McNary in particular has contributed towards changing the communities perception of STEM in general and has increased programming throughout all levels of schooling so that students can continue their education at each grade level.