AUSTIN, Texas — For Jose Gomez, Keyla Salgado, Dylan Goiclechea and Sergio Hernandez, a great future starts at the Boys and Girls Club of the Austin Area.

The four friends have known each other since kindergarten and have been learning together ever since. 

“Learning with them makes me feel happy. I don’t feel so alone,” said Salgado.

As part of a group field trip, the students are preparing to take on the world of Science Technology Engineering and Math, simply referred to as STEM at the Thinkery Museum in Central Texas.

The visit to the museum is part of a collaboration between the Boys and Girls Club, National Instruments and Thinkery to diversify the pipeline of future engineers. 

The group formed a new program called CREATE, which stands for Collaboration to Realize Equity and Teach Engineering. National Instruments plans to invest $800,000 to the program over the next four years in efforts to reach kids in undeserved communities.  

“I think it’s important because as we grow up from being little kids, we learned all of these things and it will make it easier for us to work,” said Gomez.

Sergio Hernandez and Jose Gomez. (Spectrum News 1)

It's an effort CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of the Austin Area Misti Potter believes starts with exposure and knowledge. 

“Regardless of where they start in their STEM education journey, this will give them that exposure and hopefully some hands-on experience to make sure they are taking something with them when they leave,” said Potter.

Students in the STEM lab.

The groups believes by teaching students the fundamentals of STEM at an early age, they are helping shape the career paths of engineers for the next generation.

“I see myself in the future coding video games and showing them to people because coding is really fun and I love coding,” said Goiclechea