The Ripken Foundation and TVA Install New STEM Center in Alabama

Mar 11, 2024

The Ripken Foundation and the Tennessee Valley Authority teamed up to install a brand-new STEM Center at Alabama A&M University for Girls, Incorporated of Huntsville. The girls will now have access to educational STEM tools, like Bee-Bots, Chromebooks, and a 3D printer, and the Ripken STEM Center curriculum. This Center is also only the fifth of its kind to open in North Alabama.

The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation helps at-risk youth in underserved and underrepresented communities to engage in age-appropriate STEM learning in a structured environment with trained teachers and mentors who make science, technology, engineering, and math compelling and fun. “We know that women, especially women of color, are underrepresented in the area of STEM,” said Executive Director of Girls, Incorporated of Huntsville Stephanie Malone. “We do our best to create opportunities. We provide a space, and we can generate excitement around the STEM initiative.” 

President of Alabama A&M University Dr. Daniel Wims is excited for the opportunities the new Center brings. He explained that 75% of students graduating from the university with physical science degrees are male, and this new Ripken STEM Center will help increase interest in STEM fields for girls of all backgrounds. “You don’t know how excited you are to see it until you see it: until you see the wide eyes and the attention,” said Wims.

Girls Inc. of Huntsville Board Chair Courtney Lynn Hamilton echoed Wims, stating how important these STEM Centers can be. "We stand on the threshold of a new era marked by the opening of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation STEM Center, a facility that is not just a room but a symbol of our dedication to expanding our footprint and serving more girls beyond our traditional reach. This endeavor aligns seamlessly with our strategic plan and vision for the future,” said Hamilton. “Let us also cut through the limitations that may have hindered the exposure of STEM education to young ladies of color in the past.”

Read about this partnership in the Huntsville Business Journal's article here. To learn more about our STEM Center initiative, click here.