Local organization aims to get kids interested in STEAM fields early

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In 2019, there were nearly 10.8 million workers in STEM jobs, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Monday marks National STEM and STEAM day, and that’s why KX News is showing the efforts of one organization aimed at getting kids involved at an early age.

Full STEAM Ahead is nonprofit that offers activities promoting the science, technology, engineering, arts and math fields.

The organization has programs for kids as young as pre-school age and all the way up to 17-year-olds.

Executive Director Allison Auch says the STEAM program was created in 2017 to help fill a void.

“Before Full STEAM Ahead came around, we have a really strong athletics community,” said Auch. “We do have a really strong music community as well, I think, but things like coding and robotics, even theatre for younger kids, we just didn’t have.”

Full STEAM Ahead hosts activities year-round.

Auch says programs are offered at a variety of times to be able to reach as many kids as possible.

“We have an afterschool enrichment program, where we go bring our programming to the kids at the schools,” said Auch. “But then here, we do stuff during the day for homeschool and younger children. We do weekend camps and then like I said in the summer we do weeklong camps, day-long workshops, all kinds of opportunities.”

One of the activities is Lego robotics.

Teams build working robots that eventually compete.

Justyce Baldwin joined the robotics team three years ago.

“I just thought it was fun to hang out with friends and learn new things about building and getting designs out of things that I haven’t done before,” said Baldwin.

This is the first year of robotics for Avy Walker and she says she enjoys working with others.

“I think it’s pretty fun and I like the teamwork that’s involved,” said Walker.

Baldwin says that she encourages others to join Full STEAM Ahead for robotics.

“I would be like, ‘Would you like to come and join us for a really fun activity of lego robotics? It would be super fun,'” Baldwin said.

Auch wants kids to know Full STEAM Ahead is a great place to be.

“We have a lot of fun,” said Auch. “We do a lot of, a lot of things here. It’s just a really good energy whenever you walk in the studio.”

The U.S. Census Bureau also reports that the number of women in STEM increased from 8 percent in 1970 to 27 percent in 2019.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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