Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland received a $5,000 investment from Quake Energy, a natural gas supplier, and will launch a LEGO Robotics program in partnership with Northeast Ohio Robotics Alliance.

The BGCC, which has programs at 15 sites, intends to form up to five robotics teams at its school-based sites. The teams -– made up of youth ages 9-14 –- will assemble robots and compete in the FIRST LEGO League, an international program, according to a BGCC news release.

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The program is meant to spark an initiative and innovative thinking.

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According to the news release, members of the Garfield Heights Club recently attended a NEOBots camp, at which they were exposed to robotics, problem-solving and the FLL. Other Clubs scheduled to participate in the program this fall include Broadway, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Luis Munoz Marin, Walton and Saint Luke’s, according to the release.


“We are extremely excited about this program and are grateful for the support of Quake Energy,” said Ron Soeder, BGCC president and CEO said in the release.

“We are building a robust, high-quality STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program here at Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland in partnership with Cleveland Metropolitan School District. This initiative is part of that program.”

According to the release, Soeder said STEM skills are necessary for navigating in the modern world and competing in today’s job market. He said the LEGO robotics program not only helps teach those skills but also allows kids to experience cooperative competition and build relationships across socioeconomic divides.

BGCC is a for-impact organization providing after-school and summer programs for youth ages 6-18 in Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, East Cleveland and Garfield Heights.