BGCS hires Dr. Donna Jagielski to head up programming for new STEAM Makerspace initiative

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale announced that Dr. Donna Jagielski was selected to fill the role of STEAM Educator/Makerspace Director to create and lead cutting edge programming as part of an initiative to spark interest in growing Arizona career fields.

The announcement comes as the youth development organization nears completion of its first STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) Makerspace Studio slated to open this November in the Virginia G. Piper clubhouse located within the Scottsdale Ranch neighborhood.

Dr. Jagielski has more than 12 years of experience in STEAM-based teaching and holds an education doctorate in Leadership and Innovation from Arizona State University. She most recently served as STEAM and Technology Integration Specialist for Maricopa Unified School District.

“Donna is uniquely qualified to provide BGCS Club members programming and experiences that will expand upon what is taught in schools,” said Robyn Julien, BGCS President & CEO. “Arizona continues to be a projected leader in the growth of STEM and computing jobs, and we are committed to helping accelerate learning in these areas for our youth and teens.”

The STEAM Makerspace Studio at the Virginia G. Piper Branch will serve as a blueprint for future spaces in the other seven Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale branch locations. Annually, upwards of 6,000 youth in kindergarten through 12th grade will experience programming and specialized activities devoted completely to creating and designing using 3D printers, laser engravers, electronics, robotics, circuitry, coding, and other STEAM-related equipment.

“In these new STEAM Makerspace Studios, we will cultivate an environment that encourages Club members to collaborate, innovate, and create,” said Dr. Jagielski. “We will provide immediate and exciting connections to real world applications to take our kids and teens beyond what is taught in the K-12 education system.”

BGCS has been actively bringing investors together for the new Ellie & Michael Ziegler STEAM Makerspace program, to build-out state-of-the-art spaces with equipment and programming at each of its branch locations over the next three years.

As community leaders and generous philanthropists, the Zieglers have invested $1.5 million in the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale STEAM initiative.

“These innovative spaces encourage collaborative thinking to address tomorrow’s challenges,” said Ellie Ziegler. “Michael and I sought to fund a forward-thinking environment where youth are empowered to compete in a global marketplace, ultimately becoming college and career-ready change agents for the 21st century.”

This is not the first time the Zieglers have led the way in supporting youth and teens in the community. In 2012, they initiated the BGCS back to school shopping program to provide new clothes and shoes to youth and teens in need so that they could return to school with confidence, ready to learn. They continued funding, planning and helping kids shop for six years, inspiring community support and volunteering that has helped to keep the annual shopping event going strong.

In 2018, Ellie and Michael gave $1 million to complete safety and technical updates and a teen center refresh at the BGCS Vestar Branch in Desert Ridge. The Ellie & Michael Ziegler Teen Center at the Vestar Branch provides educational, leadership and healthy lifestyle programming as well as a safe place for more than 150 teens when school is out.

“Ellie and Michael have impacted countless lives with their generosity and heart for helping youth and teens succeed,” said Julien. “They exemplify the leadership and passion for helping others we work to instill in our Club members. We are extremely grateful for everything they do for our kids and our community.”

For more information about the STEAM Makerspace initiative or other Club programming, please call 480-344-5520 or visit www.bgcs.org.