Newspaper Archive of
The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
December 11, 2019     The Monroe County Reporter
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December 11, 2019

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Page 2A December ll, 20l9 Boys & Girls Cub in Forsyth gets first STEM lab By Diane Glidewell Forsyth Monroe County Boys & Girls Club unveiled its new state-of-the-art STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) Lab on Friday, Dec. 6. The Lab is a collaboration of the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation and the new Amazon Fulfill— ment Center in Macon. It is the 56th STEM Lab in the U.S. created by the Cal Rip- ken Sr. Foundation, which is based in Baltimore, Md. The Amazon Future Engi- neer program gave $30,000 to equip the Lab at the local Boys & Girls Club. “This is an exciting da ,” said Phillip Bryant, CEO Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Georgia, which oversees the Monroe County Club. “Thank you guys so much for support— ing Boys 81 Girls Clubs and the development of the young people. This is the best STEM Lab in Central Georgia.” Bryant said he is very happy that the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation and the Amazon Fulfillment Center picked this location of all the places they could have chosen. The STEM Cen- ter includes eight differ- ent areas that will engage students and allow them to solve problems and create solutions. There is a 3—D printer, a robotics center, circuits to connect and much more. A team from the Cal Rip- ken Sr. Foundation came from Baltimore and spent the day training teachers on Samantha Nagurny of the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation reacts as Boys 8: Girls Club members try out the new STEM Lab the STEM Lab equipment and introducing some of the Boys & Girls Club members to it. The Foun- dation built the curriculum and provides continuing resources to use with it. The team remained on hand for the unveiling of the STEM Lab on Friday afternoon, joined by representatives of Amazon, Boys 8: Girls Clubs of Ce , ;., Monroe Coghrtayi §c%'2§81s and the City of Forsyth. “Thirty—five years ago someone invested in me,” said Randy Acosta, Vice President of resource devel- opment at Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation. “We’re going to give these kids hope and opportunity. This really makes us proud.” “Science, technology and innovation fuel AmaZon,” said Corey Landry, general manager of the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Macon. “We picked this location on behalf of our employees. We hope it provides you youngsters everything you need to see Is this your Baby’s lst Christmas? If so, be sure to include your precious one in the Reporter’s Full-Color Tree in our Christmas issue E-mail your photographs to or bring them by our office at 50 N. Jackson Street DEADLINE: WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 11TH Phillip Bryant, CEO of Boys Girls Clubs of Central Georgia, cuts the ribbon at the new STEM Lab with the help of Forsyth-Monroe County Boys Girls Club members. The STEM Lab is made possible by the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation and the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Macon. (Photos/Diane Glidewell) the fruits of your efforts.” The one million—square— foot Amazon Fulfillment Center opened on Skipper Road in July and employs over 900 full-time work: Christmas season. Ama- zon Future Engineer is a comprehensive childhood- to-career program that increases access to com- puter science education for underserved communities. The Ripken Foundation has provided many sports- related opportunities for young people to promote leadership, work ethic, personal responsibility and healthy living since its founding in 2001. In 2016 it launched the STEM Initiative building STEM Labs, which has reached over 23,000 children na- tionwide. ‘ Acosta said it was impor— tant to choose an area with dedicated space, which the Forsyth Monroe County Boys 8! Girls Club has. He said the programs are .. - J M 4m angvon- with knowledge of STEM can do them. The point is to get the right tools to the teachers and students and introduce them to the resources available. “We really enjoy partner- ing with the communi ,” said Acosta. “Critical think- ing and problem solving will carry you through life. It’s all about. Whether they have access.” He said he enjoyed seeing boys and girls run to the stations and to Samantha Nagurny, Ripken Founda- tion program and cur- riculum manager, when they were allowed to come into the STEM Lab. Nagurny is part of the team that trained teachers and introduced students to the new Lab. “It’s exciting for us,” said Nagurny “Kids are so fun.” Joel Tolliver, site direc- tor of the Forsyth Monroe County Boys 8: Girls Club, said his staff picked 10 children of different ages to “A «A +l-m 1 nl‘ m1 Friday and be part of the Grand Opening. He said all club members will now begin to rotate to have one day each week in the STEM Lab. The Club will have a booth to highlight the STEM Lab at Monroe County Schools STEM Night on Ian. 30. He said the Club ‘has mem— bers from ages 6 to 16. The STEM Lab adapts to skill levels and is neither too hard nor too easy for anyone. On one table were small oranges hooked to a com- puter with a keyboard pro- gram. By touching different oranges one could play notes and create a melody Forsyth Mayor Eric Wil- son talked about how co- operation between the city, county and school district in 2017 was what enabled them to bring a Boys & Girls Club to Forsyth-Mon- roe County. Bryant said that McDonough is work— ing on the same model to bring the next Central Georgia Boys 81 Girls Club to its community. “You were leaders in forming partnerships and now others are emulating you,” said Bryant. Monroe County Schools Superintendent Dr. Mike Hickman noted that the cooperation in bringing the Boys 8r Girls Club to Mon- roe County had sparked continuing cooperation between local government and groups for the benefit of citizens. He thanked Bryant for the work and vi- sion of bringing the STEM Lab to Monroe County children. “Just look around the room,” said Hickman. “It’s obvious what the STEM Lab does for our children. They’re engaged. 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