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Massive Grant Means New Computers, STEM Programs

A huge grant from Phillips 66 oil refinery will help the Boys and Girls Clubs of Whatcom County take a big step toward the future. The $265,000 grant means not only will outdated computers and other tech infrastructure and equipment be replaced, but the money will pay for educational programs based in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

The grant has generated a buzz of excitement in the Whatcom clubs, which includes organizations in Bellingham, Blaine, Lynden, and Ferndale. The clubs’ chief executive, Heather Powell, says kids were especially eager about new computers—some of the current computers are older than members themselves. “Just that was cause for huge celebration in the clubhouse,” Powell says.

With the help of this grant, clubhouse members will have access to programs like “DIY STEM,” a hands-on program that utilizes everyday materials to help kids aged 9–12 make connections between scientific principles and real-world applications. Few young Americans are pursuing an education in STEM.

The clubs will also get to create a STEM-specific part-time staff position. Powell says the staff member will learn the ropes and train other clubhouse staff and volunteers.

1616 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham
360.738.3808 | whatcomclubs.org

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"A huge grant from Phillips 66 oil refinery will help the Boys and Girls Clubs of Whatcom County take a big step toward the future. "