The Andrew Shaw Memorial Trust, chartering organization for Darien’s Boy Scout troops and Cub Scout packs, has formed a new STEM Venture Crew dedicated to the mission of project team based research, exploration and STEM curriculum development and career pathways for high school youth ages 14 to 20.

“As we enter the second century of Scouting in Darien, we are excited to be expanding our programs to include this new unit focusing on a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) curriculum, and extending our reach to older youth, both male and female,” says Leslie Pennington, President of the ASMT.

“We chartered this unit in September, and already have 19 members who have hosted 4 events for both Cub and Girl Scouts.”  Most notably, the STEM Venturers work closely with inner-city community outreach programs in South Norwalk and Stamford to help our at-risk youth close the education gap through STEM related hand-on, inquiry-based practical skills, experiments and activities.

Pat Gentile, Troop 35 Unit Commissioner and former Scoutmaster of Troop 35, and a recipient of the highest honor for Scouting volunteers, the Silver Beaver, initiated the formation of STEM Venture Crew #353.

Regarding his inspiration, he explains, “Our STEM Venturers are dedicated to the proposition of incubation research, project development of new STEM concepts and ideas, and most importantly developing program curriculum and honing their teaching skills to teach the younger children in our community and in our inner cities throughout Fairfield County.

“Their goal is to help provide over time a cradle to career continuum, where our youth are empowered to lead youth.  The vision is to make them the change agents and catalysts to help become our next STEM leaders and provide mentorship to help all children regardless of socio-economic background overcome education achievement gaps in the communities they serve,” he said.

To learn more about Venture Crew #353, please visit www.darienscouts.org for further information or contact Committee Chairman Pat Gentile at patjgentile@gmail.com.