WARSAW — The Baker Youth Club has announced the launch of two exciting programs: the BYC STEM Activity Center and the Art Studio at BYC. This launch, combined with the October launch of the ExerGame Room, completes a yearlong initiative to offer the kids at BYC additional programming.
An open house for the public will be 1-3 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, at BYC, 1401 E. Smith St., Warsaw.
The creation of the STEM Activity Center grew from a desire to bring exploratory project-based experiences to club members in the rapidly growing fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. “We are excited to provide a dedicated space for our club members to develop skills they need in school and in life: collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking.” says Tracy Furnivall, BYC Director.
Support from local community partners Dekko Foundation, Network Partners, Warsaw Metal, KREMC, and the Warsaw Community Schools, as well as Grace College School of Education, made the STEM Activity Center a reality.
“Partnering with local organizations has allowed BYC to provide opportunities to its members that just would not be possible otherwise. We are extremely fortunate to be in a STEM-rich, partnering community” shared Christine Bonifield of Network Partners and part of the STEM leadership team at BYC. BYC is looking for continued support from the community as it looks to expand the offerings in the STEM Activity Center. “We are looking for additional corporate partners. This community has many businesses utilizing STEM principles. It just makes sense for us to develop relationships as we motivate our kids to become excited about STEM fields of study. Our goal is to develop activities related to area businesses that will benefit the local job force and our club members in their future career paths.” says Furnivall.
The BYC STEM Activity Center offers an aquaponics station where members will learn how create an ecosystem friendly to plants and aquatic animals. A 50-foot-long LEGO wall where building and engineering principles are discovered, a 50 foot ball wall (Imagine marble works x 50) that teaches principles of physics such as slopes and velocity, and a gear wall that teaches mechanical relationships and principles. In addition, over 200 discovery tubs with independent learning activities, created in cooperation with Grace College students, contain kid-friendly, guided activities allowing club members to learn specific aspects of STEM principles.
The Art Studio at BYC is an engaging space for club members to unleash their creative streak. “Opening an art studio at BYC has been one of our dreams. We want to engage our members by providing opportunities to experiment with different art techniques while developing their fine motor skills” says Board member and Grace College Professor, Dr. Rachael Hoffert. The Art Studio will expose BYC members to canvas painting, dump pour painting, sketching, 3-D crafts, color usage, and a variety of other creative projects. These concepts will be developed by Calyn Howell, an art major at Grace College. Calyn has developed age appropriate projects that will bring out the creative side of the young members of BYC. She is very excited to offer Holiday take home crafts that will allow the BYC kids to create personal gifts to give loved ones.
The BYC STEM Activity Center and Art Studio at BYC offer unique opportunities for children with different passions. If STEM is a young person’s passion, BYC has them covered. If creativity is their interest, BYC has an outlet for them as well. But even more exciting is, they don’t have to choose, they can do both. BYC is focused on learning while having fun. Keeping young people interested in fun activities all the while teaching them important concepts in art, science, technology, engineering and math.
BYC is a local youth development agency that strives to provide quality supervision for the young people in our community. BYC emphasizes education, health, physical fitness and social skills while teaching young people life skills. The staff at BYC takes pride in helping children by providing a structured daily schedule that will teach them discipline, respect, relationship building and other essential components that will help them be successful in life.
For more information, contact Tracy Furnivall at (574) 267-8771.