Boys & Girls Club gets grant for STEM program

BRATTLEBORO — The Boys & Girls Club of Brattleboro was recently awarded the Sea Research Foundation's Immersion Mentoring Grant.

This grant will help the club address their members' need for more education in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

The Boys & Girls Club of Brattleboro was one of 35 youth-serving organizations in 31 states chosen to take part. Immersion Mentoring was founded in 2002 by Dr. Robert Ballard to be a fun, hands on program designed to bring the exciting world of ocean science to underserved populations.

The program serves to reduce high-risk behaviors and positively impact social development and academic achievement of youth ages 8-13. Trained program coordinators and mentors connect with mentees through joint participation in real-world STEM activities and interactive technologies.

According to Unit Director Ricky Davidson, the club hopes to engage as many young people and mentors as possible in Immersion Mentoring over the next two years. He said the real-world research and exploration that are included in these hands-on activities, as well as multimedia webcasts with world-renowned scientists, are bound to excite the imagination and a desire to learn.

By participating in this program, Davidson said Boys & Girls Club members will be able to take part in educational activities they don't normally get a chance to participate in. There will be trips to aquariums, the ocean, and other places not normally seen or enjoyed by young people in landlocked Vermont.

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