“Holyoke Codes and Rows!” Aims to Inspire STEM Pursuits

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MGHPCC receives grant from Community Foundation of Western Mass. to create summer camp experience combining watersports and computer programing

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Holyoke, Massachusetts, July 21, 2017 – The Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC), a non-profit dedicated to providing state-of-the-art, environmentally responsible infrastructure for research computing systems, has received a $6,800 grant from the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts to create a unique summer camp experience combining watersports and computer programming.

Coding in the morning – image credit: Don Treeger for the Springfield Republican.

The grant, provided by the Buxton Charitable Foundation Fund and administered through the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, will bring together Holyoke Codes and Holyoke Rows into a summer camp program called “Holyoke Codes and Rows!” Holyoke Codes, an education and outreach program of MGHPCC in partnership with local IT educators and professionals, provides opportunities for Holyoke Public School students to be involved in coding, robotics, and technology. Holyoke Rows is a non-profit community organization that aims to provide a wide variety of rowing programs to as many community members as possible.

Rowing in the afternoon – Image credit: Don Treeger for the Springfield Republican

MGHPCC brought the two organizations together to offer this unique camp experience as a free summer enrichment option for Holyoke kids, who will work on coding and robotics projects in the morning, then learn rowing and kayaking on the Connecticut River in the afternoon.

“We are grateful to the Community Foundation for the opportunity to inspire campers with the power of coding and rowing,” said John Goodhue, Executive Director of the MGHPCC. “Our hope is that by combining access to hands-on science and technology education, time outside learning about ecosystems, and just plain fun, we will inspire kids to pursue STEM education and careers.”

The project is designed to show kids that succeeding at technology or sports is not mutually exclusive, and to break down stereotypes that place people in one group or the other. It is also intended to increase students’ academic confidence while promoting a healthy lifestyle through outdoor physical activity. They will also learn such skills as problem solving, creativity, collaboration, mental focus while fostering an appreciation for nature.

About the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts

Founded in 1991, the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts administers a charitable endowment consisting of nearly 600 separately identified funds ($121 million) serving the three counties bordering the Connecticut River in western Massachusetts (Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin Counties).

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