News & Events
OSPI Candidate Forum Coming to Pasco
Join us for a candidate forum with State School Superintendent candidates Erin Jones and Chris Reykdal. The State School Superintendent position is responsible for leading the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, the primary agency charged with overseeing K-12 public education in the state of Washington. Following forums in Seattle and Spokane, there will be a forum held for a Tri-Cities audience on October 12th from 6-8pm. It will be held at the Pasco Police Regional Training Center and is cosponsored by the Mid-Columbia STEM Network, Washington STEM, Latino Coalition of the Tri-Cities and LWV-Tri-Cities.
Richland School District Seeking STEAM Professionals
The Richland School District is set to open its fourth middle school in August 2017 and is looking to form a Core Planning Team for the innovative school. Specifically, the District would like to find two professionals from STEAM-related industries who would be willing to volunteer on the Team. Once established, the Core Team will consist of educators, parents, students and industry professionals.
“We have a unique opportunity to develop a STEAM focused program from the ground up,” said Principal Andre Hargunani. “The input we receive from these industry professionals will be a key part of our planning efforts.”
So far unnamed, the fourth middle school will be located near the intersection of Keene Road and Belmont Boulevard in West Richland. It will hold 800 students once it opens in time for the 2017-2018 school year. The school is being built using funds from a 2013 bond issue passed by voters to pay for nine facility improvement projects in the Richland School District.
Interested applicants can apply to be part of the Core Team through this link.
STEM Like ME! Program Inspires Youth, Engages Professionals
STEM Like ME! is a program available at Tri-Cities middle schools. During a class visit, STEM professionals engage with students in small groups, introducing them to their job and demonstrating a hands-on activity. Past mentors included representatives from fields such as chemistry, engineering, computer science, oceanography, nursing and aviation.
During a STEM Like ME! program, students either view a brief video introduction or have more time to research STEM occupations, depending on teacher preference and schedule allowance. The video options highlight some of the many STEM fields of study. Once the program is underway, students are separated into small groups to meet in a more personal setting with the mentors.
Students engage with a hands-on activity brought by the mentor, ranging from a small motor, to a nuclear waste replica, a marble-tube engineering demonstration and testing of blood sugars. In just ten minutes’ time, students have the chance to learn more specifically about each mentor’s focus of education and their current job role. Students rotate through to visit four mentors during a single class period. Following each visit, students spoke highly of the program and the impact it made on their knowledge of STEM fields.
To volunteer for a STEM Like ME! program in the 2016-2017 school year, or to bring one to your classroom, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2016 Health & Safety EXPO features STEM Theme
The 2016 Health & Safety Exposition (EXPO) served tens of thousands over two days at the TRAC Center in Pasco. EXPO organizers partnered with the Washington State STEM Education Foundation to highlight STEM. Many booths included the STEM theme, inspiring students and encouraging adults to keep fostering a love of learning. The EXPO promoted health, safety, science, technology, engineering and mathematics at home and in the workplace.
Kid's Engineering Day Serves Hundreds
The fourth annual Kid's Engineering Day was held in March at Marie Curie STEM Elementary School in Pasco. The event was organized by the Energy Northwest Chapter of Women in Nuclear. It was the first time the program was located in Pasco. More than 20 tables were set up in the school cafeteria, offering hands-on experiences in robotics, chemistry, engineering, physics and more. A number of organizations attended, including Delta High School, Areva, Washington River Protection Solutions, Energy Northwest and MESA Tri-Cities, just to name a few. Hundreds of students and their families visited the stations, testing viscosity, creating a model of the Earth, exploring atoms and understanding the science behind Angry Birds. Kid's Engineering Day enables elementary students to explore STEM various STEM concepts.
STEM Board Members Appear on "Meet in the Middle"
Vicki Bogenberger of CH2M and Patricia Irving of InnovaTek, Inc. joined Christine Brown on her radio talk show to discuss the successes of Delta High School and other initiatives to prepare local children for STEM education.
$127,000 Donation for STEM Efforts provided by Washington River Protection Solutions
Tri-City area students will benefit from $127,000 in contributions announced by Washington River Protection Solutions. The money will be used to strengthen and expand K-12, college and community STEM-related programs.
The Mid-Columbia STEM Education Network will receive $50,000, including $30,000 to support events that celebrate our region as a national leader in STEM literacy and to recruit volunteers to conduct STEM programs that link students with mentors and role models. The other $20,000 will go to STEM-related education activities at the REACH and the local Boys & Girls Club.
The remaining portion of the $127,000 donation includes $50,000 in STEM scholarships and STEM faculty support at Washington State University Tri-Cities and $27,000 to the Nuclear Technology Program at Columbia Basin College to complete the purchase of new equipment and to provide STEM-related scholarships.
Women in STEM Town Hall
The Women in STEM Town Hall was held at Washington State University Tri-Cities in conjunction with Washington STEM and the Women's Funding Alliance. It was the third in a series of four events scheduled throughout the state.
The event was held in conjunction with the Women's Funding Alliance and moderated by Liz Vivian. Speakers included Kathy Christensen from Kadlec Regional Medical Center, Heather Belts from CH2M, and Peggy McCullough from Bechtel Corporation. The free community event at Washington State University discussed how we can work with women to harness the opportunities that STEM fields provide, and to make sure STEM benefits from women’s voices and women benefit from STEM.
2015 STEM Celebration Dinner
An inspiring and engaging 2015 STEM Celebration Dinner was held in October on the campus of Columbia Basin College in Pasco. The dinner was another success in supporting the vision and efforts of the Washington State STEM Education Foundation. Hundreds of attendees were motivated by homegrown STEM champions, including Washington State Senator Sharon Brown, 2013 National Teacher of the Year Jeff Charbonneau and Associated Students of WSU-Tri-Cities Senate Clerk Arthur Baranovskiy. These highly-influential speakers talked of STEM literacy successes in the Mid-Columbia, and the goal of driving the rate of STEM literacy even higher.
Be a STEM Champion!
Please join the talented and dedicated STEM professionals who volunteer to help young people experience STEM in action and prepare for high-demand, high paying STEM careers. In partnership with innovative local educators, students are inspired to become creative, critical thinkers who can work effectively in teams, evaluate complex problems, and design innovative products and solutions. STEM literacy is a foundational skill for all careers, not just those with a technological focus.
Preparing students with 21st century skills helps to create a robust talent pool that will attract industry investment, spur economic growth, and sustain the Mid-Columbia as a center for technological advances inspired by a STEM-literate workforce.
Seven ways YOU can help:
- Recruit STEM Volunteers
- Host an Internship
- Coordinate a Job Shadow
- Be a Mentor
- Judge a Science and Engineering Fair
- Volunteer at a Special Event
- Be a Career Guest Speaker
These are just a handful of the budding STEM education partnerships in our region that reach beyond the walls of the classroom to include higher education, business, and the community!
Please volunteer today by clicking the "Choose to Volunteer" link on the left of this page. You will find the volunteer form and a list of current opportunities to consider. Our future leaders need YOU!
We are moving now to revolutionize education.