“Great Futures Start Here” is the pledge of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County, and it’s a pledge they have lived up to by instilling the values of fun, respect, integrity, community and acceptance into our county’s youth kids since 1995.
For the first time, this summer the Boys & Girls Club launched STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs at all of their locations in Skagit County. The STEM program at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County was a journey of discovery for the kids, offering a variety of learning opportunities in areas such as coding, engineering, chemistry and environmental conservation.
Supporting STEM education is one of the Shell Puget Sound Refinery’s core social investment focus areas, and the refinery jumped at the opportunity this summer to partner with the Boys & Girls Club of Skagit County to launch their first ever STEM Summer Camp. As part of the camp, Shell PSR employees have been volunteering at STEM camps across the county with their “Mini-Refinery” in tote to teach Boys & Girls Club kids about the processes of our refinery, and how an education in STEM fields could lead to a future career in the energy industry. The Mini-Refinery is a complete miniature working replica of a process unit that could be found onsite at the refinery. Not only do the kids come in wide-eyed when first taking a look at Mini-Refinery equipment, but they are equally as awed by the engineers who volunteer their time to help teach the kids about its function.
Steve Williams, a Process Engineer at Shell Puget Sound Refinery, is one of the passionate volunteers whom the kids love. Williams’ response to why STEM camps are an important activity for youths in the community was, “Getting more exposed to STEM activities can encourage and inspire kids to pursue those fields later in life.”