BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — In today’s rapidly changing world, society needs children to explore, discover and think deeply so they can be the innovators, developers and inventors who will solve pressing challenges of our future.
For many young people, there’s no better experiential learning that taps into this than STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) – and that’s why Camp Fire Central Oregon is thrilled to announce two major grants recently received. in support of a robust STEM broadening curriculum. The combined scholarship amounts total $30,000.
An initial amount of $15,000 has been awarded by the Braemar Charitable Trust, which seeks grant applications with a focus on education, community service, arts and culture, youth activities and historic preservation . Building on this donation, an additional $15,000 was provided by a matching Central Oregon Health Council, which works to create an equitable and integrated health ecosystem that improves the health of Central Oregonians through a collaborative work and community partnerships, using data-driven decisions to improve quality, reduce costs and empower providers.
“Research shows us that STEM inspires students to think more broadly about real-world problems and solve them with a hands-on, collaborative approach,” says Kecia Kubota, executive director of Camp Fire Central Oregon. “We are over the moon with the news of these two grants because we can now enhance our current STEM offerings, add more programs with better access and price for underserved populations, and provide the infrastructure and the personnel necessary to ensure the success of the program.”
The expansion has already begun with Camp Fire opening registration for a new FIRST LEGO robotics team in Redmond, Oregon. In addition to this and several other Bend-based robotics teams, Camp Fire relies on its Spanish-speaking robotics team, coached by a native Spanish-speaking instructor. In addition to its robotics teams, Camp Fire is enhancing its technology and robotics camps and programs, which run year-round and include free “Bit(e) of Robotics” workshops at Deschutes Public Libraries and various regional locations. throughout fall and spring.
The grants will support all of these community outreach and education efforts, as well as staffing and marketing for the expansion of the technology program. And yet another possibility is bringing technology programs to homeschool communities — a potential option that Camp Fire is asking tutors of homeschooled students throughout central Oregon to consider, by contacting directly Camp Fire if you are interested.
According to Javier Leiva, technology program manager at Camp Fire Central Oregon, the focus on program growth directly addresses an ever-changing need. And to have an impact on the community, the sustainability of the program is essential.
“These funds are amazing because they align closely with our expansion goals and strategies,” says Leiva. “Young people will feel a positive difference through an increase in staff, resources and equipment, all of which are essential to a strong and healthy robotics program that attracts, challenges and empowers these very bright, curious and eager tech learners.” . This is very exciting for the youth at Camp Fire and for the community in general!