LAKEWOOD — Pierce College’s free, drop-in afterschool and summer program for children and teens, the Computer Clubhouse, is celebrating a $15,000 grant from Intel to continue its popular Design Squad summer program.
More than a dozen kids ages 10 to 18 are now participating in the Design Squad program, which is based on the popular PBS show of the same name. Each week, the kids are given a new engineering, robotics, and computer programming challenge. They work in small groups to solve their challenge by coming up with their own designs, and doing all their own construction and testing.
Throughout the process, the kids also film their weekly projects (like the actual show) and then celebrate their work each Friday by inviting parents to the clubhouse to watch the “episode” they created.
“Children and teenagers are hungry for hands-on experience with new technology and science, and Design Squad gives them ways to learn and grow, and connect with other students,” said Suzy Ames, executive director of the Pierce College Foundation. “We’re grateful for Intel’s continued support of the Lakewood Computer Clubhouse. Without this funding, these kids wouldn’t be able to share these rich experiences.”
Added Intel’s Rick Meeder, “Supporting community programs like the Lakewood Computer Clubhouse is a great opportunity for us at Intel to share our passions for science, technology, and innovation with a whole new generation. We’re proud to be able to help these kids discover creative solutions to problems and to become better students of math, science, and engineering.”
In addition, the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network (the larger worldwide network of similar clubhouses) recently honored the Lakewood clubhouse for “outstanding innovation in the use of technology” for its enthusiasm, willingness to experiment, and commitment to fresh ideas. This is the second summer of Design Squad. The program, which runs weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon, is full for this summer.
The Lakewood Computer Clubhouse has open, drop-in hours from noon to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday at the Harrison Prep School, 8800 121st St. SW, and from 3 to 9 p.m. Fridays at the Lakewood Presbyterian Church, 8601 104th St. SW. It is funded by the Pierce College Foundation.
For more information on the clubhouse, visit its Web site at lakewoodclubhouse.us.