A program that gives military teens access to science and technology-centric youth centers is expanding worldwide thanks to a new grant.
The STEM Center of Innovation program, operated out of Boys & Girls Clubs of America on or near military bases, is designed to give military teens and other users access to 3D printers, high-def motorized drop screens, HDMI projectors, tools to build their own robots and an invention kit that lets club members turn objects into touch pads and — wait for it — a flight simulator.
They’ve also got full-time STEM experts on site to help the kids with their projects and learning.
The program is funded by a $10 million grant from Raytheon. They are planning to open it at 22 clubs worldwide, and it’s currently already available at seven locations — Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, Chula Vista, California (near Naval Outlying Landing Field Imperial Beach), Killeen, Texas (home to Fort Hood), Huntsville, Alabama (near Redstone Arsenal), Ramstein Air Base, Germany and Aberdeen, Maryland (near Aberdeen Proving Ground).
Some of the programs are open to non-military teens or kids who are not enrolled in on-base child services, depending on the location. The newest center, which opened at Andrews this month, is open to the community.