WaterBotics® STEM curriculum coming to 10 New Jersey-based Boys & Girls Clubs, via Walmart support and Stevens Institute of Technology partnership

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Walmart providing more than $80,000 in funding; Stevens Institute of Technology to host training in a new STEM program for 10 New Jersey Boys & Girls Clubs.

More than ever, success in life, work, and citizenship demands deep and substantial scientific and engineering literacy.

Walmart providing more than $80,000 in funding; Stevens Institute of Technology to host training

An exciting new STEM program will be available to youngsters enrolled in 10 New Jersey Boys & Girls Clubs, through $82,461 in funding contributed by Walmart. Stevens Institute of Technology's Center for Innovation in Engineering & Science Education (CIESE) is a partner in the initiative, which is known as WaterBotics®.

A research-based curriculum for teams of middle school and high school students, WaterBotics involves the design, building, programming, testing, and then redesigning of underwater robots that use LEGO® components and related programming tools.

The program kicks off May 6-8 at Stevens Institute of Technology, with the 2015 STEM Educator Institute, a comprehensive, hands-on session conducted by CIESE for two educators from each of the participating Boys & Girls Clubs. This training will prepare the educators to lead WaterBotics summer camps or outside-of-school programs during the remainder of 2015. In summer and again in the early autumn (dates to be determined), CIESE will hold follow-up, one-hour webcasts to answer educator questions and provide further input. A final, in-person workshop (date to be determined) will enable educators to discuss their experiences while planning for future activities.

"What's wonderful about WaterBotics is the breadth of educational opportunity it provides," said Douglas Eagles, executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County. "It will increase the number of our young people -- including minorities and girls -- who will develop an interest in STEM education and careers. And, it will provide all the youngsters involved with the chance to enhance their ability to overcome challenges in a group setting."

The New Jersey Boys & Girls clubs that will participate in the 2015 WaterBotics program are Atlantic City (Atlantic City); Camden (Camden); Gloucester (Glassboro, Paulsboro); Lodi/Hackensack (Lodi, Hackensack); Monmouth County (Asbury Park); Newark (Newark); Northwestern New Jersey/Wayne (Wayne, Pequannock); Paterson/Passaic (Paterson, Passaic); Perth Amboy (Perth Amboy, Carteret); and Clifton (Clifton).

"More than ever, success in life, work, and citizenship demands deep and substantial scientific and engineering literacy," said Arthur Camins, CIESE director at Stevens Institute of Technology. "Support from Walmart for the WaterBotics program will help make that possible for an ever more diverse group of students."

The funds contributed by Walmart will be used toward staffing and support of the professional development program, and each of the 10 participating Boys & Girls Clubs will receive $6,000 to cover the cost of materials and implementation.

"Walmart is proud to join with New Jersey Boys & Girls Clubs and Stevens Institute of Technology in bringing the WaterBotics curriculum to hundreds of young people across the state," said Jennifer Hoehn, Walmart Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations in New Jersey. "We always seek the most impactful ways of contributing to the communities where we conduct business, and providing this strong introduction to the fields of research, robotics, and engineering has tremendous value."

About Philanthropy at Walmart

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are committed to helping people live better through philanthropic efforts. By operating globally and giving back locally, Walmart is uniquely positioned to address the needs of the communities it serves and make a significant social impact within its core areas of giving: Hunger Relief & Healthy Eating, Sustainability, Career Opportunity and Women’s Economic Empowerment. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are leading the fight against hunger in the United States with a $2 billion commitment through 2015. Walmart has donated more than 1 billion meals to those in need across the country. To learn more about Walmart’s giving, visit foundation.walmart.com.

About Stevens Institute of Technology

The Innovation University®, is a premier, private research university situated in Hoboken, N.J. overlooking the Manhattan skyline. Founded in 1870, technological innovation has been the hallmark and legacy of Stevens’ education and research programs for more than 140 years. Within the university’s three schools and one college, more than 6,800 undergraduate and graduate students collaborate with more than 380 faculty members in an interdisciplinary, student-centric, entrepreneurial environment to advance the frontiers of science and leverage technology to confront global challenges. Stevens is home to three national research centers of excellence, as well as joint research programs focused on critical industries such as healthcare, energy, finance, defense, maritime security, STEM education and coastal sustainability. Stevens is in the midst of a 10-year strategic plan, The Future. Ours to Create., designed to further extend the Stevens legacy to create a forward-looking and far-reaching institution with global impact.

About CIESE

CIESE at Stevens Institute of Technology was founded in 1988 to increase the pool, persistence, success, and diversity of students who pursue STEM study and careers. The Center carries out its mission through teacher professional development and graduate programs; curriculum development; and education research. Since its founding, CIESE has led programs that have directly impacted more than 35,000 K-20 educators in 23 states and 8 countries. (CIESE) developed WaterBotics through two successive National Science Foundation grants spanning nine years. The WaterBotics curriculum has been extensively tested and enhanced to improve participation and success of underrepresented groups--particularly girls and disadvantaged minority students. Through Stevens’ programs and with national partners, WaterBotics has been implemented with thousands of students in a wide range of learning environments including traditional classrooms and out-of-school settings such as summer camps.

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Danielle Wooddruffe
Stevens Institute of Technology
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