LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — From virtual reality hardware to complex lighting and entertainment rings and 3D printers to admittedly less fun online learning capability, it can be found inside of the Cox Innovation Lab at the John C. Kish Boys and Girls Club in Henderson.
Andy Bischel, president and CEO of Boys and Girls Club of Southern Nevada, says the clubs currently house five of the roughly dozen technology centers funded by Cox in the Las Vegas valley.
"It's the gateway to the future," he said.
Bischel says the purpose of the labs, beyond giving less privileged kids a place to learn online and do homework, is to inspire curiosity.
He says the centers give young boys and girls the chance to connect with technologies they otherwise wouldn't, play with the hardware, and potentially find the passion to pursue a career in the field.
"Cox, I'm sure, needs tech-savvy individuals to make that leap," he said.
Cox Field Operations Director Joe Peeples said the company does need those workers so they've spent the last decade investing in labs for youth, most recently spending $150,000 on six labs, and consistently upgrading existing ones.
"Really, when they started out, they were kind of just computer labs so the kids have access to a computer," Peeples said.
The innovation labs have grown by leaps and bounds from run-of-the-mill computer labs.
The new clubs include John C. Kish and Mary & Sam Boyd Clubs in Henderson; the Ralph & Betty Engelstad Clubs in Las Vegas, James Club in North Las Vegas, and Bill & Lillie Heinrich YMCA at 4141 Meadows Lane.
Other locations include the Strong Future Technology Training Center, Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada, three additional Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada, and Cox Technology Centers located at The Shade Tree and The Salvation Army.