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EnergizeNC STEM program helps local students

The Central North Carolina Council of Boy Scouts of America and Rowan Communities in Schools have partnered to bring a one-of-kind STEM program to the youth of Rowan County.

EnergizeNC is a new STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program that was offered earlier this month at Knox and North Rowan middle schools.

EnergizeNC was developed by the Central North Carolina Council and Catawba College’s Center for the Environment with support from First Bank. The program meets the state standards in math and science and is administered during the school day to at-risk youths through a partnership with Communities in Schools.

“EnergizeNC is gaining a lot of momentum, and the support from Rowan County United Way and First Bank will not only help us serve more children but also provides us with many of the resources we need for the program to be successful,” said Greg Balog, CEO of the Central North Carolina Council.

“This is a great partnership that brings resources from agencies that all have the same goal — to enrich the lives and the education of our young people,” said Ron Turbyfill, executive director of Communities in Schools. “We are thankful to the Central North Carolina Council of the Boy Scouts of America for working with Catawba College to develop and provide this high-quality curriculum to Knox and North Middle.”

There are EnergizeNC Partnerships in Cabarrus County with A.L. Brown High School and Kannapolis Middle School, as well as East Union Middle School in Union County.

Through alternative classroom settings and hands-on learning, EnergizeNC seeks to prepare today’s youths for tomorrow’s North Carolina jobs. In modules designed by the Center for the Environment, youths are learning about complex environmental topics such as thermal energy, global warming and the energy footprint left by their own homes and schools.

Students kicked off the first week of EnergizeNC learning about conductors and induction. These basic energy concepts will serve as the foundation for a year of exploring renewable and sustainable energy.

Youths and their families in the EnergizeNC programs will end their program year in April with Financial Literacy Month. This is a program provided by First Bank and will educate youths and families on day-to-day money management including balancing a checkbook, budgeting and saving.

“First Bank is committed to helping all of the communities in this state thrive, and we believe EnergizeNC will provide a wonderful benefit not just for the students enrolled in it but for the entire region,” said Michael Mayer, president and CEO of First Bank. “We are proud to partner with the Central North Carolina Council and Catawba College in this endeavor.”

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