Rep. Fattah Announces Historic National STEM Education Agreement
American Innovation and Mentorship Agreement (AIM) Links FIRST and Boys & Girls Clubs of America
WASHINGTON, April 27, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA) announces that two of the nation's most successful youth service organizations – in an agreement he has forged -- will make a major announcement on Saturday to introduce a far-reaching partnership that promotes and mentors science and technology education. This partnership is designed to change the life chances of millions of the nation's children and in turn drive American global scientific leadership.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of America, FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and Congressman Fattah will meet in St. Louis to formalize the American Innovation and Mentorship (AIM) Agreement to provide Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) opportunities and FIRST's innovative robotics-based programming at 3,000 Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide by 2015.
"We are AIM'ing high with this agreement to entice millions of young people to have an interest in engineering, science and STEM-related careers," Fattah said. "Bringing together these two great youth organizations for American Innovation and Mentorship is a perfect match – for the young people of America and for our nation's greatness."
The backdrop for this historic collaboration advancing the missions of both organizations will be the final day of the FIRST Robotics Competition Championship at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. The four day event includes three separate robotics competitions for talented young people, organized by FIRST.
Congressman Fattah, a leader in Congress on education and scientific research, brought these organizations together in order to dramatically expand access to exciting educational opportunities for all students. He invited Boys & Girls Clubs of America President Jim Clark and FIRST Founder Dean Kamen to Philadelphia earlier this month to finalize the agreement. Clark and Kamen join Fattah in St. Louis at Saturday's ceremony.
Congressman Fattah said, "We want to make it easy and fun for our youth to play an active role in renewing America's commitment to retain global leadership in innovation and technology. Dean Kamen and FIRST have been motivating young people to pursue STEM education for more than two decades. The Boys & Girls Clubs of America attracts and inspires millions of our next generation of leaders to Clubhouses and centers worldwide. It's a match I will continue to promote and advocate for in Congress."
BGCA President/CEO Jim Clark said, "The opportunity to provide our young people with access to cutting edge innovation and develop career-oriented skills in science, technology, engineering and math is crucial to our impact agenda and mission. The continued support from Representative Fattah and the vision of Dean Kamen have made this dream a reality, creating a great future for Club members."
Inventor-entrepreneur Dean Kamen, who founded FIRST in 1989, said, "We are pleased to partner with Congressman Fattah and the BGCA to further our mission to transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders."
Under the AIM Agreement, the knowledge of thousands of engineers, scientists and educators, serving as mentors on robotics and other engineering topics, will be brought directly to Boys & Girls Clubs members to spark and maintain an interest in applied science. AIM is the first agreement of its kind to provide applied science for young people on this scale.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of America, which serves some 4 million young people, plans to offer active mentoring on STEM subjects operating the AIM Agreement in three fourths of its nearly 4,000 Clubs by 2015.
This new announcement builds on Fattah's work throughout his career. In September 2011 he hosted a National Science Foundation Summit in Philadelphia highlighting the agency's report, "Successful K-12 STEM Education: Identifying Effective Approaches in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics on best practices on STEM education."
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