Florida business working to build children’s STEM skills

Bolts & Bytes Maker Academy celebrates National STEM Day every day, putting the fun back in learning.

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. — A local business is turning learning into fun, teaching STEM skills that will last a lifetime.

Good Morning Jacksonville is celebrating Monday’s National STEM Day all week long. 

Over the years STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, has become a way to help kids develop skills like problem-solving and innovating. 

Bolts and Bytes Maker Academy Owner Reed Beaubouef says the purpose of his business is to get kids’ gears turning. 

“We’re really a STEM program, which is science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and what we do is we give kids an opportunity to really create and problem solve,” said Beaubouef. 

Beaubouef’s shop offers a variety of outlets.

“We have LEGO classes, we have coding and video game design classes, so we’re not just doing the sciences or the mathematics. We’re really trying to fold it into stuff that they’re interested in,” said Beaubouef.

Working to spark the interest of students like Drew Owen.

“I was kind of just looking for some sort of designing class,” said Owen. “Right now what I’m working on is a nightlight to sometimes plug into the wall or a big set-up one.”

“We give kids these outlets that they might not get in their regular lives, or they might not be getting at school, they might not have the opportunity to make things with their hands or challenges that are totally open-ended where they can fail,” said Beaubouef. 

The U.S. Census Bureau estimated in 2019 nearly 10.8 million occupations were STEM-related. 

“STEM jobs are growing year over year,” said Beaubouef. “It’s important for kids to be allowed to innovate and to be given challenges so that they can innovate, they can really stretch their understanding of the world and really make an impact on their world.”  

To check out the workshops offered at Bolts & Bytes Makers Academy, click here

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