Ray Ames is passionate about helping children and under-served youth learn to tap into their engineering minds and apply Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) concepts into their every-day lives. He believes STEM education provides “opportunities for youth to overcome obstacles that stand between themselves and success.” He founded Young Thinkers of York in January 2017, with the vision of turning under-served youth into future leaders and innovators in engineering and science.
What started as a dream to teach robotics to middle-school youth in his very own neighborhood, expanded rather quickly into educating children and youth throughout York City schools on competitive robotics and engineering. “The program grew into something I couldn’t even imagine,” Ray said.
After a year of working with middle-school aged youth, Ray developed the ambition to educate much younger children, which led him to offer his program to child care centers. The new expansion of his program sparked the interest of our Early Learning Center staff, and he was soon invited to the center.
In October, Ray began teaching weekly classes on critical thinking, sequencing, and programming in fun, creative ways for our young learners. It is most rewarding to Ray to see the children “go from point A to point B on their own with no assistance in as little as 8 weeks of working with them.”
Currently, the Executive Director of this “one-man” operation, Ray hopes to expand Young Thinkers of York in the near future to meet the demands that have now spread outside of York City. He encourages us all to “be part of the solution” in ending the education gap plaguing our urban school districts. “Through education and exposure to new STEM experiences, our preparedness programs will expand our young people’s minds and allow them to follow their dreams.”