Capital STEM Alliance Newsletter – December 2023

Group Kid teen child enjoy Machine Learning Robot arm is Moving Under coding Control robot at stem technology class, stem education for digital automation learn for use artificial intelligence ai

The Capital STEM Alliance is pleased to share its first regional Impact Report! Learn about our journey and all the services we offer.



Telephone Resources

It’s probably safe to assume most folks know to dial 911 in an emergency to reach fire, police, and medical help. But there are other numbers, too. Here’s a handy list from Kelly Early in our Workers’ Compensation Trust program

  • 988 Suicide Crisis Hotline
  • 811 Prevent underground utility damage – call this number before you dig and ask someone to come out to mark the property.
  • 711 Speech and hearing impaired – this number permits persons with a hearing or speech disability to use the telephone system via a text or telephone (TYY) or other device to call persons with or without such disabilities. To make using TRS as simple as possible, the user can simply dial 711 to be automatically connected to a TRS operator.
  • 311 Local and municipal governments – this number provides access to non-emergency municipal services. Folks may call to find out about services, make complaints, or report problems like graffiti or road damage.
  • 211 Community Help Services – United Way
Evergreen Treatment Services

Evergreen Treatment Services (ETS) is offering a new Treatment in Motion program in the Capital region. Treatment in Motion offers medication dispensary services for patients enrolled at ETS. It is staffed by nurses, counselors, medical providers and assistants, case managers, technicians, and community safety specialists. Treatment in Motion aims to minimize barriers to accessing substance use treatment by meeting patients where they are.

For more information about ETS or the Treatment in Motion program, please visit the flyer.

Moving Forward Together

Capital Region ESD 113, in partnership with the Timberland Region Library, held its second Moving Forward Together event on November 9. This event’s focus was on student mental engagement and social-emotional health. If you missed this event but would like to watch the recording, click here.

Lewis County

Holiday ‘Gift Give-a-way

United Way Lewis County will host its second holiday ‘Gift Give-a-way’! Last year we provided pre-wrapped gifts to over 300 children while providing resource materials to their families!

Date and Time: Saturday, December 16, 2023 | 9:30 am, vendor set-up | 11 am–3 pm, event begins

Location: Centralia College | TransAlta Commons, 600 Centralia College Blvd. Centralia, WA 98531

If you would like to set up a resource booth during this event, please contact Chastity Pennington. Bi-lingual materials & representatives are encouraged!

Mason County Consortium

Kaleidoscope Playgroup

Mason County organizations Child Care Action Council, Timberland Regional Library, and Child Care Aware are sponsoring a free playgroup for children ages birth to 5 years and their parents called Kaleidoscope. Trained playgroup facilitators lead engaging circle-time activities that help families prepare their children for success in school and life. The in-person playgroup is held in two locations on two days:

  • Every Thursday at 10:30 am | North Mason Timberland Regional Library | 23081 NE State Route 3, Belfair, WA 98528
  • Every Friday at 10:30 am | Shelton Timberland Regional Library | 710 W. Alder St, Shelton, WA 98584

For more information or to pre-register, please visit [email protected] or call 360- 742-7267.

Parents as Teachers

Child Care Action Council is hosting a free program called “Parents as Teachers.” This brings parent support, prenatal support, free books, diapers, and playgroups. The program is funded by the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) and is led in English, Spanish, and Kanjobal. For more information, please contact Dominga Antonio-Nolasco or Andrea Antonio-Nolasco.

DCYF Quality Preschool

The Department of Children, Youth, and Families is offering free quality preschool for eligible families through their Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP). Children will receive nutritious meals and snacks, health screenings, and family support through this program. For more information or to enroll, please contact the Child Care Action Council at 360-426-2898 (Shelton) or 360-412-4897 (Pleasant Glade). For information in other locations, call 360-464-6800.

Grays Harbor Early Learning Coalition

Nominate a Parent or Caregiver for Parent Recognition Month!

The Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) is gearing up to celebrate Parent Recognition Month in February!

As 2024 is quickly approaching, we are gearing up for our annual Unsung Hero campaign in honor of Parent Recognition Month, and we are hoping you can help us spread the word far and wide.

Since 2011, with your help, we have honored 337 parents and caregivers in Washington for the roles they have taken with their families, schools, and communities. They have been recognized because they have shown strength, courage, and empathy in their communities. Parents and caregivers around Washington State are supporting their children, families, and communities in exceptional ways, and we want to show our appreciation. Please help us in honoring 29 more in February 2024 by nominating a parent/primary caregiver/guardian for the Unsung Hero award. The nomination form is available in three languages (English, Spanish, and Somali). A parent panel will select one honoree for each day in February, and then all honorees (including their family or supporters) and their nominators will be invited to an in-person celebratory dinner event in Olympia.

All nominations must be submitted by January 5, 2024, and emailed to [email protected].


$100 Gift Card for Flu Shots

Molina Healthcare is pleased to reward Apple Health members with a $100 Gift Card for receiving their flu vaccine between September 1, 2023, and February 29, 2024! Apple Health members (ages 6 months and older) who receive their flu vaccine between September 1, 2023, and February 29, 2024, are eligible. For more information, please visit this flyer.

Thurston County

Champions of Courage Event

South Sound Parent to Parent is holding its 10th annual Champions of Courage event. Activities include a live and silent auction, and food and drink will be available. For more information, please visit the flyer.

Date and Time: February 24, 2024 | 6:30–9 pm

Location: Hands On Children’s Museum | Olympia, WA

Cookies and Coco Event

The Community Action Council of Thurston County is hosting its Cookies and Coco event! Cookies and Coco is not your typical Santa photo event. It’s a unique experience designed to promote body autonomy and empower children to lead their interactions with Santa while getting to spend time with the Dogs of Monarch. We believe in fostering healthy boundaries, and this event is our way of highlighting the small yet significant ways we can teach kids about them.

Here’s what you can expect at Cookies and Coco:

  • Capture precious moments as your child meets Santa on their terms
  • Enjoy delicious cookies and hot cocoa to add a dash of warmth to the day
  • Be part of a community committed to supporting healthy boundary development in kids
  • Get some time with the Dogs of Monarch

We sincerely hope that you can join us in this heartwarming celebration of the holiday season. It’s a fantastic opportunity to create lasting memories and contribute to our shared awareness of promoting healthy boundaries.

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or require more information. We look forward to sharing this special day with you

Date and Time: December 2, 2023 | 12 pm

Location: 3020 Willamette Drive NE, Lacey, WA 98516


Combat Veterans Toy Drive

The Department of Veterans Affairs is hosting its annual Combat Veterans Toy Drive/Olympia Toy Run. Admission is $10 for a single rider, $15 for a couple, or free with a new, unwrapped toy. For more information, please go here.

Date and Time: December 2, 2023 | 10 am–1 pm

Location: South Sound Center | Sears Parking Lot

STEM Network

College Campus Tours

The Washington Student Achievement Council urges high school seniors and their families to explore their post-high school options with campus visits, either in person or virtually. Campus tours help students make decisions about what kind of education to seek after high school and where to go to get that education. Students who tour campuses are 50% more likely to pursue education after high school. Students with a parent or guardian who participates in visits are three times more likely.

If visiting in person is not an option, you can take virtual tours to learn about different post-high school pathways.

See firsthand and hear directly from college and training staff about:

  • Apprenticeships.
  • On-the-job training programs.
  • Community college certificates.
  • Two- and four-year degree programs and schools.
  • Student life on campus.
  • Available support resources.

Use what you know about yourself and what you learn during the visit to:

  • Reflect on your preferences.
  • Think about what you need to thrive socially, academically, and financially in that environment.
  • Narrow down your choices.
  • Use a student reflection guide to help through the process.

Learn more about campus visits:

High School and Beyond Plans

High School and Beyond Plans (HSBP) are a state graduation requirement. Students must have an HSBP to guide their experience and prepare for postsecondary education or training and careers (ESHB 2224, Chapter 31, Laws of 2017). SB 5243 added platform requirements to the HSBP around academic supports, language translation, data privacy, and data sharing and moved the mandatory start of HSBPs to 7th grade. SB 5243 also requires OSPI to facilitate a transition to a statewide universal online HSBP platform.

OSPI will be seeking extensive feedback during this process. SB 5243 specifically requires OSPI to seek input from the State Board of Education, educators, school & district administrators, school counselors, career counseling specialists, families, students, the Washington State Achievement Council, institutions of higher education, community partners, and existing community & regional networks and organizations who support students’ career and college preparation. Be on the lookout for these feedback opportunities as we progress in the implementation of SB 5243. OSPI will be utilizing many communication avenues to solicit participation. To see the timeline for implementation or for more information about SB5243, please contact Contact Maria Muto.

Better FAFSA/WASFA 2024-25

What is Better FAFSA?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) determines eligibility for student financial aid. Financial aid can be used for education beyond high school, such as college, technical school, trade school, or apprenticeship. Big changes are coming to FAFSA this year.

What to Expect?

  • Adjusted timeline
    • The 2024-25 application opening will be delayed until December 2023. Applications usually open on October 1 and will again in future years.
    • Check with your college to see if other deadlines are impacted, such as admissions applications and scholarships.
  • More eligibility
    • Pell Grants are getting a big boost as more students will now be eligible, and the average award amount is increasing.
    • Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will be replaced by the Student Aid Index (SAI), which more accurately reflects students’ costs and financial needs.
  • Simpler application
    • The form will have fewer questions.
    • Students will only see questions directed at them, and parents and guardians will only see questions specific to their role.
    • With direct connection to the IRS, families don’t need to enter income info manually. (Note: Tax filing is not required to submit a FAFSA application.)

What about WASFA?

  • The Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) will open at the same time as the FAFSA.
  • The WASFA is also improving, with fewer questions and a simpler form.
  • Complete only one application: FAFSA or WASFA. Most people should file a FAFSA to maximize financial aid.
  • The WASFA is for people who are undocumented or who do not qualify for federal financial aid, and may be used by others in limited circumstances.

Can’t wait to get started?

Set up your FAFSA or WASFA account. Save your login and password!

Learn more and plan your future on the WSAC website.

To learn more about changes to the new FAFSA/WASFA application, please visit Aim Higher Washington Trainings | WSAC.

CCL Regional Network


News Flash! Mace’s MACE Act Marked Up by Committee on Oversight and Accountability

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Earlier this year, the Committee on Oversight and Accountability marked up the MACE Act, a bipartisan bill aimed at modernizing federal cybersecurity job requirements to foster a more diverse and competitive workforce. The bill was introduced by Rep. Mace (SC-01) and is co-led by Rep. Katie Porter (CA-47).

The MACE Act eliminates unnecessary degree barriers for federal cybersecurity jobs, opening doors to talented individuals with exceptional skills. By focusing on qualifications directly relevant to job performance, the bill ensures equal opportunities and combats biases in hiring.

With a shortage of over 700,000 cybersecurity professionals nationwide, the MACE Act addresses the pressing need for a stronger cybersecurity workforce. It draws inspiration from effective executive orders under the last administration and upheld by the current one.

The bill further mandates the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to publish annual progress reports on the reform of education-based qualifications and the formal education levels of new hires in cyber-related positions.

With numerous corporations and states already removing unnecessary degree barriers in their hiring processes, the MACE Act positions the federal government as a trailblazer in modern employment practices.

“Today, a brilliant computer whiz who drops out of Harvard after a year or two – as Bill Gates did – would stand little chance of securing a federal cybersecurity job. We often hear from the other side of the aisle that the federal government should be a “model employer” and the elimination of unnecessary degree barriers ensures the federal government is such an employer,” Rep. Mace said.

“Government employees should be the best in the business, especially when it comes to our nation’s cybersecurity,” said Rep. Porter. “Prospective employees who prove their qualifications and competency shouldn’t be disqualified from a federal job on the basis of one type of educational credential. I’m proud to partner with Rep. Mace on this bipartisan bill to strengthen our federal workforce and protect our cyber infrastructure.”

Construction Try-A-Trade Event

SAVE THE DATE! The Capital STEM Alliance is pleased to announce that we are planning a hands-on Construction Try-A-Trade event in partnership with over a dozen of our local trade unions. See this flyer for a list of trade unions that plan to participate. If your organization is interested in participating in/planning this event, please contact Lorie Thompson at [email protected].

Date: May 2, 2024

Location: Satsop Business Park

Boeing Manufacturing Internships

Boeing is now accepting applications for our 2024 High School and Community/Technical  College Manufacturing Internships! Applications will be accepted through February 5, 2024.

Our manufacturing internships are designed to provide students with a comprehensive experience, including hands-on training, job shadowing, and career planning support. For more details and information on who should apply, please see this flyer.

For a recap of last summer’s manufacturing internships, check out the videos linked below:


Email us at [email protected]