From West Hills College

Thanks to a grant from the Walmart Foundation, the West Hills Community College District will be able to continue to offer science and technology education opportunities for middle and high school students in local communities.

The Walmart Foundation has awarded WHCCD a one-time $25,000 grant for its STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Robotics Program, which allows local students to learn about robotics and attend contests. 

“The major program goal is to encourage students to pursue math, science and technology in engineering (STEM) careers when they graduate from high school,” said Robert Pimentel, Associate Dean of Educational Services at West Hills College Coalinga. “Students who are not performing well in their academic programs are oftentimes bored with the content at school and can benefit from this program in particular. Having an opportunity to apply some of the STEM skills into a real life activity, such as building a robot, will inspire the students to do better in school and motivate them to graduate and pursue higher education.”

West Hills College has offered a robotics program for the past five years in Lemoore and Coalinga, funded by Chevron and PG&E along with other donors.

According to Pimentel, this grant will go toward furthering the robotics program offered by WHCCD and funding equipment for the program as well as enabling travel to contests.

“By providing hands-on activities, students learn the basics of math application as it relates to working with robots,” he said. “Students will have competitions that will also provide them with skills necessary to be competitive in tomorrow's workforce.”