Shirley Wilkinson UMC

2022 Summer STEM BMX Camp

What do you as a pastor in Shirley, Indiana who wants to offer a summer program for kids in the neighborhood? If you have an affinity for bikes, you might do some research on program offerings, find a national program and explore ways to fund such a program. This is exactly what Pastor Rick Hutson with Shirley-Wilkinson UMC did. He discovered USA BMX Foundation’s BMX Stem program and submitted a grant application to Metro Ministries for funding support.

This project-based program includes an eight module curriculum that is equal parts education and exercise, centered around a BMX bike. One kit comes with the full curriculum and all the parts and tools needed to assemble 5 BMX bikes, along with 5 helmets. The curriculum includes step-by-step instructions for bike assembly, with STEM-focused instructions for making seat adjustments, brake alignment, wheel and tire assembly and air pressure adjustments and monitoring. The group of kids in Shirley assembled the bikes the first week of the program and have since been learning the importance of each part in the assembly, the importance of balance, how to ride in a figure eight pattern, how to best ride on different surfaces and how to brake quickly, among many other concepts and skills. Pastor Rick plans to use the same bikes and curriculum in 2023 for another group of kids.