Boys & Girls Club Youth Create STEM Machines, Embrace Science & Technology Thanks to Grant from the APS Foundation

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Nearly 40 members at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale recently created STEM machines to learn the principles of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics through building chain reaction machines. The program, made possible by a grant from the APS Foundation, taught youth to understand and apply STEAM concepts as they build chain reaction machines in a project-based cooperative learning environment. 

Participants gained real-world STEAM skills as well as experimented with systems thinking and multi-team collaboration. The program is based on a curriculum developed and refined by Arizona State University and also allowed for the creativity of the youth participants to develop their own unique chain reaction machines


“Through the program our youth developed pride as they saw their brainstorming, teamwork, planning, building and testing come to fruition with a working machine,” said Cathleen Cole, Education Coordinator at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale’s Vestar Branch.   

Since 2012, the APS Foundation’s focus has been to support STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and other education programs because of Arizona’s low student proficiency ranking in those subjects.

“We are pleased to be able to help support and encourage nonprofits who engage in promoting STEM education and other educational efforts to increase student achievement. Success in education will result in a healthy society, strong economy and robust Arizona,” said Julie Coleman, Executive Director of the APS Foundation.


About APS Foundation

The APS Foundation is committed to making an impact in Arizona communities and does so by supporting nonprofits throughout the state that advance knowledge in the field of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. The Foundation supports a range of STEM programs including a signature initiative that focuses on supporting teachers by developing content knowledge in the STEM subjects, as well as strong pedagogical skills. The goal of the Foundation is to best equip the next generation of Arizona’s workforce and keep the state strong and competitive.

Privately endowed by Pinnacle West Capital Corp. in 1981 as an independent 501(c)(3) organization, the APS Foundation distributes funds through a bi-annual grant process. Since its inception, it has invested more than $31 million in Arizona nonprofits. For more information, please visit

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale provides a positive, safe and fun environment to help 17,500 youth of all ages and backgrounds develop the qualities needed to reach their full potential. The Club offers more than 100 youth development programs emphasizing five core areas including: the arts; character and leadership development; education and career development; health & life skills; and sports, fitness and recreation. The organization's nine branches and multiple outreach sites are located in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Mesa, Fountain Hills and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa and Hualapai Indian Communities. For more information, visit

Abbie S. Fink
Abbie S. Fink
Vice President/General Manager Abbie has been doing public relations her whole life…from organizing a picket line in 6th grade to organizing client communications today. She’s passionate about a lot of things, you’ll see. Check out Abbie's full bio

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