To fill a critical gap left by the struggling Detroit public school system, the S.A.Y. Detroit Play Center sought high-quality, mentor-driven STEM programs to excite and engage local students at its afterschool tutoring and recreation center. With funding from a FIRST STEM Equity Community Innovation Grant and support from the greater Detroit FIRST community, SAY (Sports. Academics. Youth.) Play added a robotics room, formed FIRST LEGO League and FIRST Tech Challenge teams, and hosted a tournament in its first year.
Bringing STEM into the recreation center
In 2016, SAY Play was awarded a FIRST STEM Equity Community Innovation Grant and introduced FIRST as part of its after-school programming. With the help of local community partners, the center added a robotics room and formed five FIRST teams, exciting students with meaningful opportunities to be a part of a team, learn how to build and program robots, and compete in tournaments.