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NI, Thinkery and Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area to Launch Engineering Program for Underserved Austin Youth

By: via Business Wire

NI will award $800,000 to Thinkery and Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area to diversify the pipeline of future engineers through afterschool education focused on the “E” in STEM.

NI (NASDAQ: NATI) today announced its collaboration with Thinkery and Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area (BGCAA) to jointly develop Collaboration to Realize Equity and Teach Engineering (C.R.E.A.T.E.), a program to inspire and prepare a diverse pipeline of future engineers involved in BGCAA through afterschool engineering education, youth development programming and family engagement. NI is currently the sole funder of this engineering in STEM program and will give $800,000 over the next four years to Thinkery and BGCAA in support of it.

C.R.E.A.T.E.’s fun yet structured curriculum is designed to engage underserved and underrepresented youth in engineering and STEM in tangible, meaningful ways. Through hands-on and play-based activities, BGCAA youth will ask, research, imagine, plan, create, test and improve, becoming proficient in all the fundamentals of the Engineering Design Process, in small-group learning sessions, culminating in a rewarding experience at Thinkery.

“Our partnership with NI and Thinkery has expanded to bring high-quality programs and curriculum to the Austin area youth we serve. The significance of this gift over the course of several years will have a huge impact on providing the resources and tools Austin area youth need in STEM education,” said Misti Potter, chief executive officer of BGCAA. “It will further our mission to promote on-time graduation and prepare students for their future college and professional careers.”

“We are excited to partner with NI and BGCAA to provide innovative learning experiences to Austin’s underrepresented youth,” said Andy Bell, chief executive officer of Thinkery. “Learning should be fun, which the C.R.E.A.T.E. program will provide through hands-on, interactive engineering design experiences.”

NI is committed to investing $3.4 million globally over the next four years in STEM education initiatives that serve underrepresented or economically disadvantaged students. The first two grantees, announced in February 2021, were Code2College and Project Lead the Way.

“The city of Austin is vibrant and diverse, and its engineering workforce needs to reflect that,” said Tabitha Upshaw, senior director of brand, reputation, and impact at NI and executive sponsor of C.R.E.A.T.E. “A lot of work has been done over the years to diversify the engineering pipeline, but we have a long way to go. We are thrilled to collaborate with Thinkery and BGCAA to tackle this issue as they both serve Austin youth in effective, impactful ways.”

Thinkery brings strong research-backed, hands-on program experience to C.R.E.A.T.E., and BGCAA has expansive community reach, serving 16,000 youth annually.

“This collaboration is a powerful example of ‘creating a collective,’ in which nonprofit organizations work together to make a greater impact,” Upshaw said. “We are excited to see C.R.E.A.T.E. come to fruition and help move the needle on diversifying the engineering pipeline here in Austin.”

This news follows NI’s recent launch of its 10-year corporate impact strategy, Engineering Hope, focused on three pillars with ambitious goals attached to each: changing the faces of engineering, building an equitable and thriving society and engineering a healthy planet. In addition to changing the faces of engineering, C.R.E.A.T.E. will build an equitable and thriving society by employing paid high-school counselors and providing underserved students with the skills needed for highly paid engineering jobs.

C.R.E.A.T.E. plans to kick off a pilot program during the 2021–2022 school year with elementary-aged youth. C.R.E.A.T.E. will formally launch at full scale during the 2022–2023 school year.

About NI

At NI, we bring together the people, ideas and technology so forward thinkers and creative problem solvers can take on humanity’s biggest challenges. From data and automation to research and validation, we provide the tailored, software-connected systems engineers and enterprises need to Engineer Ambitiously™ every day.

National Instruments, NI, and Engineer Ambitiously are trademarks of National Instruments Corporation. Other product and company names listed are trademarks or trade names of their respective companies.

About Thinkery

Thinkery is Austin’s home for “why” and “how.” It’s our mission to create innovative learning experiences that equip and inspire the next generation of creative problem solvers. Thinkery offers 40,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor exhibits and programs hosted throughout the community to let children and families to learn through play. It’s a place where science and families play side by side and people connect with ideas by doing, making and experiencing.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area (BGCAA) is Austin’s leading out-of-school time youth development agency, currently serving more than 9,500 registered members and engaging more than 16,000 children annually ages 6 to 18 at 27 locations in Travis and Bastrop Counties, including the Home Club on the Sheth Family Campus. BGCAA’s formula for impact centers on quality programming and services in academic success, character and leadership, and healthy living. Club youth participate in high-impact development programs that, when compared to non-Club youth, result in better school attendance, better grades, higher graduation rates and a better likelihood of attending college. Through support from local individuals, businesses and BGCAA Staff, Club youth are given the tools and opportunities to create Great Futures. More at


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