Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania (BGCWPA) serves over 15,000 youth annually through daytime learning hubs, before and after school programs, specialty, outreach and partnership programs. BGCWPA’s newest partnership program is with Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Academy on their project, P3G: Player Programmed Partner Games,  to work with youth in strategizing, creating and developing a CoRobotics virtual game within the Estelle S. Campbell Clubhouse of Lawrenceville and the Carnegie Clubhouse.

Through a National Science Foundation grant focused on how kids learn through gaming, BGCWPA youth participants will work with CMU’s Robotics Academy members on a weekly basis to co-design characters and content. As game developers, our youth will explore problem solving scenarios, create games and characters, test their imaginations, and practice logistical thinking. These aspects will then be developed into a game that the very youth who created them can play and learn from. Characters and content will be derived from Collaborative Design (Co-Design) Kits consisting of supplies to be delivered to the BGCWPA Clubhouse youth, and provided by the Robotics Academy. Programming will take place in the evenings and will follow CDC guidelines.

“BGCWPA is so  lucky to have this partnership to help us continue to build our STEM programs so that young people have the skills for the future they need to enter into a competitive market place in this new world focused on technology,” shares Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania President & CEO, Dr. Lisa Abel Palmieri. 

As part of the dedicated STEM programming within Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania and thanks to the commitment of partners like Robotics Academy, local youth will be given the opportunity to become real game developers. This opportunity illustrates the BGCWPA mission to provide quality “STEM” programming, which stands for “ Sparks curiosity, Teaches empowered learning, Establishes good habits, and Meets learners where they are to help them grow.” Learn more about BGCWPA STEM programming at bgcwpa.org 

In line with CMU Robotics Academy’s goal to fulfill its mission “…by developing research-based solutions for teachers that are classroom-tested and foreground CS-STEM concept” this new partnership will allow for 1) the observation and study of how kids learn from gaming 2) how a game can be developed to meet the educational needs of traditionally underrepresented youth. 

BGCWPA would like to thank our partners at CoRobotics and The Robotics Academy at CMU for your commitment to do WHATEVER IT TAKES for the youth we serve. 

Interested in your child being a part of this partnership? Register for the after school program at Estelle S. Campbell Clubhouse of Lawrenceville or the Carnegie Clubhouse  and check back for updates about the launch of this program at our Northern Area Clubhouse! Co- Design kits are also available through Club on the Go.

*All photos taken pre COVID-19