Engineering for Kids kicks off at King Center

Published 4:27 pm Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Franklin Department of Parks & Recreation has teamed up with STOP Inc., Norfolk, and Engineering For Kids of Hampton Roads to begin a new partnership/program for the Franklin community, which is titled “Engineering For Kids.”

A team from the STOP Inc., led by Bonnie Tazewell, administrator and Youth Development, and Angel Jones, executive director, Engineering for Kids, had been meeting with staff from Parks and Recreation to be able to imitate the program for the Franklin community.

Engineering for kids is designed to fill a void in the education system. The program brings science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to kids ages 4 to 14 in a fun and challenging way through classes, camps, clubs and parties. The program inspires children to build on their natural curiosity by teaching engineering concepts through hands-on learning.

The vision for this program is for every kid to discover what engineers do and explore what opportunities are available to them in STEM fields.

To introduce this new program to the Franklin community, the planning group planned an introductory free demonstration event that was held on Dec. 14 in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community center. The response to this invitation was unbelievable as a diverse group of youth and their parents assembled to participate in the event. After greetings and instructions/directions were given by Angel Jones and volunteer Antoine Smith, the youth were allowed to build a robot and then allow that robot to battle with other robots built by other youth.

During the demonstration, Tazewell addressed to parents information on enrolling their youth in the program. She informed all that more information will be released very soon about registration and dates that the program will be offered. Plans are for the program to begin in January of 2017.

For more information, interested parents are asked to call the parks and recreation main office at 562-2475.