Teens from the Boys & Girls Club of Malibu participated in a training seminar at the Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA) National Keystone Conference on July 24 in Anaheim, assembling 20 physiotherapy cars specially designed for toddlers with brain disorders.
In partnership with X-Bots Robotics Inc., the unique STEM program called GoBabyGo!, helps toddlers with brain disorders affecting body mobility issues and their families in the SoCal area. Together, X-Bots Robotics and Boys & Girls Club provided a hands-on STEM learning opportunity by helping young participants put their skills to use serving families with toddlers with reduced mobility.
X-Bots Robotics Inc. trained 100 young club leaders, including teens from the Boys & Girls Club of Malibu, on its X-Bots Robotics mobility program.
X-Bots Robotics Inc. Executive Director Elisa Avila said they are launching a nationwide expansion of the X-Bots Robotics mobility program at Boys and Girls Club locations to provide youth with STEM programming to explore these disciplines.
“We are pleased that together with the Boys & Girls Club, we can offer this hands-on technical engineering program that not only develops students’ leadership skills and inspires them to pursue careers in STEM, but also serves their communities,” Avila said. .
The training prepares young leaders to become peer mentors by providing STEM education and leadership opportunities to middle and high school students. They apply hands-on solutions, peer-to-peer learning, skill sharing, and immersive engineering lessons, all while bringing joy to children and their parents.
Boys & Girls Club of Malibu Teen Center director Violet Way said the BGCM began its partnership with GoBabyGo! in 2021 and are proud of all the work done by the teenagers.
“This program helps young people learn not only STEM skills, but also the value of empathy and the importance of making a positive impact in someone’s life,” Way said. “For this event, our teenagers were more than willing to wake up at 5:30 a.m. to dedicate their entire Sunday to service – they fell in love with this program and always ask to be included when there is an event.”
Irina Columbeanu, a teenage BGCM member and grade 10 student, expressed her appreciation for the organization and the training seminar.
“Every time I attend the event, I leave filled with joy to be part of such an inspiring movement that is changing the lives of children for the better,” said Columbeanu. “I’m also rewarded with new wisdom and knowledge that I wouldn’t learn otherwise.”
Columbeanu said at Sunday’s event that she was able to recall how crucial teamwork is, especially when it comes to being effective in improving the world one step at a time. Each car assembled was the work of at least seven ambitious students working together to productively design a better future for children with disabilities.
“In about two to three hours, dozens of cars were built, and only because we all united our determination and skills, leaving our egos behind,” Columbeanu said.
Columbeanu is interested in a career in STEM and said the program helps fuel her dream further.
“I want to become a cardiothoracic or a neurosurgeon, and to achieve that, I’m always looking for new STEM opportunities to expand my knowledge in the field and hopefully use it to save lives one day,” Columbeanu continued. “I pretended the car we were building was my patient, and with each step we took, I imagined we were one step closer to saving a life, which we were doing both in reality and in my life. fictitious operation.”
This year, the Boys & Girls Club of Malibu also created a makerspace on the campus of Malibu High School (MHS). The makerspace consists of 3D printers, laser engravers, fabric printers, materials for film production, and several different learning opportunities with high-tech and low-tech materials. The crafting space has been used by several MHS classes, and school teachers and club staff are blown away by what the students have created. The Boys & Girls Club of Malibu also held weekly space-making sessions during the summer.
“We are excited to provide students in our community with the opportunity to explore, create and participate in STEM programs through Boys & Girls Club programs like GoBabyGo! and the makerspace,” Way added.