Starke County Youth Club participants, volunteers, members and community leaders will take over the WKVI airwaves today to share information about and raise money for the nonprofit organization. The club provides enrichment programs for local youngsters. Executive Director Irene Szakonyi says they are tied to the state’s curriculum standards. and lesson plans accompany every activity. They stress Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, STEM for short, activities in a outside-the-box type of way.
“It’s everything from science experiments like you might remember from middle school, to teaching kids, even young ones, what engineering is about. How do you engineer a bridge? What kind of materials can you use? What’s stronger, this material or that material? All of those skills help prepare the next workforce.”
Szakonyi says careers in STEM fields are the wave of the future and adds its an exciting time to be teaching youngsters about math and science concepts.
“It’s also great just to see them come alive when they figure out a problem on their own. That’s really one of the best parts of STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – is giving kids a chance, here’s the problem, you see if you and your team can figure out a solution. When they do, the look on their faces, the joy they have, the sense of accomplishment, is amazing. It’s second to nothing.”
Szakonyi adds research indicates most youngsters learn the best in a hands-on setting, which is how the Starke County Youth Club is structured. It serves 600 youngsters at four after-school sites across the county and also provides a variety of summer programs. Find more information about the club on their website, http://www.thescyc.org/index.html.