MINOT – No one can teach everything, and that’s why Full STEAM Ahead brings unique education to children where schools may not have the resources to do so.
Ali Auch, executive director of Full STEAM Ahead, said it is a local non-profit focusing on all things STEAM, standing for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics.
“We started out at the youth theater back in 2015,” said Auch. “And then we were asked to run a robotics program. I was kind of like, no I’ve got too much on my plate with the theater alone.”
Auch said a year later is when she officially started Full STEAM Ahead, which encompasses all five parts of education, and the robotics program.
“We run the local Lego Robotics League,” said Auch. “There’s teams from all over the world. It’s a competitive robotics program where teams ages 9-14 form, and they meet from about September to January, and they build and program a robot, and then the robot competes on a table.”
Auch said Full STEAM Ahead facilitates those teams forming so they can compete at the national level.
“People don’t have to be under us, but then we can find team sponsors and we have the robots and the equipment they can use,” said Auch.
After doing competitive robotics for the first time, Auch said she realized not all kids can commit to that much time and started offering robotics camps which are often a few days long.
Auch clarified that Full STEAM Ahead is not the Magic City Discovery Center, though they often get confused.
“I’m really good friends with those ladies,” said Auch. “They’re kind of seen as an exhibition center, whereas we facilitate programs. There will definitely be collaborations.”
Beyond robotics and theater, Full STEAM Ahead also offers several other programs including chess.