Apple is highlighting Boys & Girls Clubs in Atlantic City, New Jersey as part of a larger initiative involving hardware donations and support to help support the organization’s goals.
Apple is donating a total of 2,500 devices to club locations in Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, D.C., Wisconsin, and the Atlantic City club in New Jersey. Apple also says that it support those locations to “help them explore the full potential of their new devices and begin to integrate Apple coding and creativity programming into their curricula.”
At one location, Atlantic City, New Jersey, the units are being used in science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) labs. Leading the program is the CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City Stephanie Koch.
“Atlantic City has been focused on hospitality for so long so we’ve kind of forced ourselves into thinking about just one career pathway,” says Koch. “By refocusing on STEAM, we’re arming children with critical thinking, creative expression, and problem solving skills that can be used in the future. We want this to serve as the scaffolding for them to climb to a better tomorrow.”
Program lead Mia Williams worked for Apple as a creative with the retail team. She was hired by Koch based on that background to build the Boys & Girls Club’s after-school programs using the Apple technologies.
“Mia is a professional role model,” says Koch. “She shows what’s possible when you bring Apple products and an Apple-trained professional to a community. The kids are engaged by her, and now having this cutting-edge hardware by her side, it excites them even more.”
Williams created curricula for both the STEAM and Design Labs. During the design process, she used Apple programs including Everyone Can Code, Everyone Can Create, and Develop in Swift. Apple notes that younger students in the STEAM Lab program will learn the basics of coding and beyond, and eventually will start programming their own robots.
It isn’t clear what the mix of devices is. Also not clear is the timetable that the organizations will receive the hardware grants, and the promised support from Apple.