New HAFB Youth Center aims to inspire children of military members

Thursday , March 01, 2018 - 5:00 AM

HILL AIR FORCE BASE — Children of military families stationed at Hill Air Force Base now are enjoying the benefits of an environment designed to help them explore practical applications of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The Hill Air Force Base Youth Center opened last week in partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, according to a news release. It’s one of 11 Centers of Innovation in the United States and Germany which provide access to advanced technologies to stimulate creative approaches to STEM exploration.

The facilities are made possible with support from Raytheon, a defense and cybersecurity leader.

“From skilled mentors to hands-on interactive programs, Boys & Girls Clubs of America is committed to providing kids and teens with the resources they need to explore the endless possibilities available to them,” said Jim Clark, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America in a news release. “Thanks to Raytheon’s support, our new Centers of Innovation will allow our youth to discover an array of new passions and career paths.”

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Among the offerings in the new center are:

• A LEGO Robotics Kit for members to learn how to build and program their own robots

• 3-D printers for members to explore their imaginations 

• A maker space with a giant tool wall

A full-time STEM expert will offer individual and group support, using real-world applications to help club members develop their STEM skills and critical thinking, according to the news release.

“Through creative projects and evidence-based programming, young people can enhance their understanding of STEM and strengthen skills in preparation for college, military and civilian careers,” the release said.

You can reach reporter JaNae Francis at or 801-625-4228. Follow her on Twitter at @JaNaeFrancisSE or like her on Facebook at

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