New Future Innovators Program Focuses on STEM Activities

Children posing with Rigamajig seta

KaBOOM! and the CarMax Foundation are partnering to launch the Future Innovators Program that will provide youth-serving organizations project based learning activities to encourage children to become interested in STEM.

By 2021, 23 STEM-focused youth organizations will be awarded a Rigamajig set and each organization will host an “Innovators Challenge” where CarMax associates will coach teams of kids to tackle a challenge using Rigamajig. The set is a large-scale building kit focused on STEM learning and developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

The kit aims to allow "children to follow their curiosity at play" and includes a collection of wooden planks, wheels, pulleys, nuts, bolts and rope. KaBOOM! and the CarMax Foundation are working with childhood education and psychology experts at the Purdue University Human Development and Family Studies Department to create free 10 PBL-based lesson plans.

In 2020, the program will release research study describing "the engineering-related, physical and social play behaviors kids display" when using Rigamajig. The CarMax Foundation is also the creating of an Innovation Fund with KaBOOM!. The fund will invest in the development of "ground-breaking solutions that enable kids to play more actively and more often, including through the development of tech-enabled playgrounds."

More information about the Future Innovators Program is available on KaBOOM!'s website.

About the Author

Sara Friedman is a reporter/producer for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe covering education policy and a wide range of other public-sector IT topics.

Friedman is a graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied journalism, politics and international communications.

Friedman can be contacted at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @SaraEFriedman.

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