With the growing technology of today, it’s a good idea to get children enthusiastic about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). It’s important that all children are given the opportunity to explore the STEM fields so that they can can consider pursuing careers in these fields. Even for children who don’t end up pursuing these careers, learning these skills can help them be more well-rounded and will give them a greater base of knowledge to tackle any challenges that may come their way. That’s why the Boys & Girls Clubs of America partnered with Samsung Electronics America in order to empower youth to explore a future in these fields. Not only did the partnership encourage children to get involved in STEM, but it also empowered them to help spread information about climate change.
Together, the two companies developed the Climate Superstars Challenge, an environmental contest that encourages youth to raise awareness about climate change. The contest also works to ignite an interest in STEM among kids and teens. After seven weeks of completing various sustainability activities, members of the Boys & Girls Clubs Seminole Tribe of Florida were selected as the grand prize winners of the challenge. The challenge, which is only in its second year, is open to youth ages 11 to 13, and this year, 184 Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide participated.
The challenge required that participants completed weekly activities relating to core themes like reducing waste, conserving water and improving energy-efficiency. The participants were also encouraged to be creative. Club members at the Boys & Girls Club of Great Westfield, for example, made an interpretive dance video about picking up litter. Participants from the Boys & Girls Club of Kingman hosted a recycle party. Whatever approach the Boys & Girls Club members took, they made sure to demonstrate their understanding of factors that negatively affect the environment, as well as innovative ways to prevent this.
The Hollywood Rez Torch Club members at the Boys & Girls Club Seminole Tribe of Florida won because they went above and beyond. In addition to completing the necessary activities, they made a snow globe using an old glass jar as well as a rocket they made out of a pasta box to use as a learning tool.
Because they won the Samsung Climate Superstars Challenge, the Boys & Girls Clubs Seminole Tribe of Florida will win a technology makeover featuring a number of ENERGY STAR certified products, including three Virtual Reality devices, one Gear 360 Camera, two 55 inch Ultra High Def LED Smart TVs, thirty Galaxy tablets and thirty notebooks. These products more at a value of greater than $25,000. Throughout the three stages of the challenge, participants received prizes as well. A celebration event was held at the Club to reward the members for their efforts.
This event was a win-win because it helped get kids excited about the STEM field while also promoting environmentally-friendly practices. It’s important that we encourage young people to help protect the environment so that we can have a greener tomorrow.