Fort Gordon offers new STEM after school program

By  | 

Thursday, April 25, 2019
News 12 at 11

FORT GORDON, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Students at Fort Gordon's Teen Center built a go-cart and catapult thanks to a new grant for their after-school STEM program.

That grant helped create the STEM Center for Innovation. All it took was $45,000 to make a destination for all things STEM. Leaders say the skills they learn will mean careers down the road.

In front of dozens of eyes, Fort Gordon pulls the curtain back and cuts the ribbon

"This is an opportunity for you, because you're the future, okay," said Selena Doctor-Smith, the facilities director.

Unveiling a new project just for military kids,” said Doctor-Smith.

"They're getting those fine tools for technology, they're getting to construct, create, and to invent with not only their hands but their minds," said Doctor-Smith.

Leaders like Selena Doctor-Smith repurposed the old teen center on-post into a STEM Center for Innovation.

"Hopefully they'll want to participate in STEM-based careers and have more STEM-based careers," said Doctor-Smith.

It's not your average science lab either, it's packed with some pretty cool stuff.

"Doing hair, I never thought I'd want to be a biochemist because it's all chemistry," said Doctor-Smith.

From cosmetology, a full recording studio, and kinetic desks, to building their very own catapult and go-cart, they say the skills they learn here turn into jobs.

"This grant has just really opened doors for us so that we can give them so much more," said Doctor-Smith.

These students make the ultimate sacrifice when mom and dad deploy not knowing if they'll come home.

"Take them and make sure that they know they're limitless. That's what we want for them," said Doctor-Smith.

For them to leave the STEM center with the skills and tools they need for a career. The center is just for military students, ages 11-18.

Fort Gordon actually buses the students to the teen center if they don't live on post. This was the first year they got the grant and they say they'll definitely be reapplying next year so they can expand.