Fort Gordon’s STEM Center of Innovation is ready for a grand opening on April 25.
Facilities Director Selena Doctor-Smith said, “This facility will offer a wide range of hands-on opportunities for our youth.”
The old saying goes busy hands, busy brains and that’s what Doctor-Smith wants for military youth.
She said, “Our military youth are all over the place all the time, at any point so when they get here, we need to be sure we’re providing them with these great resources. Great opportunities so that they can be competitive. That they can go out into this world and have an opportunity to say, ‘Hey, I’ve had this. I’ve seen this. I’ve experienced this.”
The new facility is sponsored by Raytheon a military contractor. It is equipped with a science technology room where students can learn about things like woodworking and cosmetology. There’s also a math and engineering room, a gym and a kitchen for the culinary arts.
“So here at this after-school activity, after-school program, we try to provide that form them. We try to provide that for them. We try to provide them with a well range of resources and support so that they can be successful and find themselves and to express themselves freely,” said Doctor-Smith.
240 kids are enrolled in the after-school program and more than 55 come every day.
Doctor-Smith added, “It is so much more than a place where youth learn stuff. It’s a home away from home. It’s a home away from home. It’s a safe haven. We provide a safe, enriching home-like environment so it’s more than an after-school activity. It is so much more.”
The grand opening is on April 25 at 4:00 p.m.