Capital STEM Alliance Newsletter – November 2023

Three teens working on a robotic car

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



Moving Forward Together: Student Engagement and Social Emotional Health

The Capital STEM Alliance and Timberland Regional Library are proud to partner on their second “Moving Forward Together” summit. The theme of this fall’s summit is Student Engagement and Social-Emotional Health. Attendees can expect to Gain insights and discover resources that can mitigate some of the mental and social-emotional challenges experienced by students today.

Date and Time: Thursday, November 9, 2023 | 4:30–6 pm

Location: Virtual

Washington Fatherhood Council Survey

The Washington Fatherhood Council wants to hear from local family service providers and practitioners. The survey’s intent is to gather ideas and information from providers and practitioners on fatherhood and father-friendly programs and services from counties and communities across the state. We are looking for bright spots; what is working, or what resources do you offer fathers and families? What might work as a father-friendly service, or what you might consider a Collective. For Fatherhood Council-related questions, please contact Director Anne Stone or Jeremiah Donier.

Lewis County

Latinx Youth Summit

Hispanic Roundtable and Centralia College are proud to announce that the next Latinx Youth Summit will be taking place on Friday, November 17, 2023.  We know that the school year is quickly coming to an end, so we wanted to ensure you could get it on your 2023-2024 school calendars! Please share this Save the Date far and wide.

We are looking forward to a fantastic Latinx Youth Summit at Centralia College campus! For more information, please contact Betsy Storey, Public Relations Specialist at Timberland Regional Library.

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

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

Elementary Teacher Renewable Energy Training

The Center of Excellence for Clean Energy at Centralia College currently has 11 spots left for a free renewable energy training for elementary teachers. Available to Teachers at No Cost. | Event flyer

  • Receive a $275 kit with materials to build hydropower, solar, and wind generation models
  • Google Classroom access to:
  • Curriculum with teacher notes via PowerPoint
  • Video tutorials for kit assembly and classroom activity
  • 90-minute training with clock hours for WA teachers or certificate of completion for 1.5 Professional Development Units for Oregon
  • Distribution will be First Come, First Serve
  • Kits will be distributed after participant attends training

Date and Time: Wednesday, November 15, 2023 | 4–5:30 pm

Location: Virtual


Centralia Community Survey

The 2023 Centralia Community Survey is a survey for adults that live in the Centralia School District. It asks for thoughts and input on youth substance use.If you have any questions please reach out to Sara Bumgardner. | Survey flyer

Take the Survey:

English | Español

Mason County Consortium

Strengthening Families Conference

Family Education and Support Services (FESS) is holding its virtual “Strengthening Families Conference.” This high-quality and affordable conference brings together family support professionals, early childhood educators, parents, kinship, and foster caregivers from across the region for an in-depth examination of the latest research, best practices and tools in the fields of family support and parenting education. | Event flyer

Date and Time: Friday, November 3, 2023 | 8 am–5 pm

Location: Virtual


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 10:30am | Shelton Timberland Regional Library | 710 W. Alder Street in, 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].


STEM Network

Olympia High School Rising Star

Capital Region ESD 113 is thrilled to announce that Washington STEM has recognized Olympia High School’s Laasya Anjana Yaramaka as one of its eleven 2023 Rising Stars Awards recipients. Every year, the Washington STEM Awards recognize young women who have excelled in STEM fields in and outside of the classroom.

Yaramaka is one of the many accomplished students within the Capital Region ESD 113 footprint and is described as a “robotics whiz.” She has used her skills to adapt toys for children with disabilities and mentor students overseas.

“Laasya is a member of two levels of robotics at Olympia High School,” said Yaramaka’s nomination statement. “As a member of OlyRobots, a FIRST Technical Challenge club, she has been critical to the robot design and building. She is also the first to volunteer for outreach experiences, whether it’s to adapt toys for kids with disabilities or run a robotics demo at the local children’s museum.”

Her robotics team, OlyCow Robotics, was able to attend the state championship after being awarded the CONNECT award for their outreach efforts. In the future, she hopes to follow her passion and become an aerospace engineer. For more information on Yaramaka and the other 11 Rising Star Award recipients across the state, visit the Washington STEM website.

High School and Beyond Plans

High School and Beyond Plans (HSBP) are a state graduation requirement. Students must have a 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, 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 the 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.

P20W Landscape Analysis Project

Washington STEM Preschool to Post-Secondary and Beyond (P20W) Landscape Analysis Project: To address the needs of our community partners, Washington STEM, with support and leadership from regional networks, convened 739 local, regional, and state education partners between October 2022 and June 2023 to discuss the bright spots and existing challenges related to accessing and utilizing the preschool to postsecondary (P20W) data system and resources. Through 43 in-person and remote convenings, each partner shared a different aspect of access in early learning, K-12, and postsecondary data use.

What we learned from these convenings is that cross-sector partners are actively accessing and using data for the purpose of monitoring, tracking, and strategizing organizational and educational objectives. However, their data capabilities and understanding of the P20W system is mostly limited to reporting and monitoring, rather than iterating and visualizing data in custom reports or Washington STEM | Knowledge Paper 2 storytelling, according to the needs of the region. This relates particularly to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF), the Office of Financial Management (OFM), the Office of Public Instruction (OSPI), the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC), which are mostly single-sector data systems. For more information about this ongoing project, please visit the P20W knowledge paper.

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 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 need.
  • 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

Career Connect Washington New Grant Funding

This State year’s final Program Builder RFPs, ABA Round 2 and Program Builder Round 12, opened on October 16th with a close date of Dec. 1st, 2023. ESD estimates ABA Round 2 will make available $3,500,000. Program Builder Round 12 will make $1,500,000 available. ESD estimates the next two Program Builder RFPs will be conducted in the summer of 2024.

With fewer funds available, we anticipate increased competition for funding. ABA Round 2 will maintain its focus on Registered Apprenticeship and Recognized Pre-apprenticeship expansion, new and high-growth industry sectors, and equitable participation and representation. Program Builder Round 12 will prioritize Career Launch programs, women and BIPOC-led and serving organizations, and program needs identified by our employer partners in our industry sector strategies.

Please continue to visit the WEBS site for all funding opportunity announcements and visit Career Connect Washington to read more stories of the amazing work our CCW Program Builders are accomplishing every day.

WWA Workforce: Stronger Together

The Washington Workforce Association (WWA) is excited to announce their upcoming 2023 Fall Conference: WWA Workforce: Stronger Together. We’re keeping the theme and will gather local area leaders, industry experts, economic development professionals, workforce professionals, and elected officials. This multiple day event will focus on solution-oriented workshops and dialogue that address the new and growing demands currently facing our workforce system.

This is the ultimate opportunity in Washington State for thought leaders to connect, share ideas, and celebrate the successes of the workforce system. Mark your calendar now and plan to attend the State’s premier workforce event.

Bookmark our Fall Conference page to stay up to date with new information! If you have questions or need accommodations to attend the meeting, please contact Event Producers. | 425-420-1680

Dates: November 14–16, 2023

Location: Tacoma Downtown Marriot | 1538 Commerce Street, Tacoma, WA 98402


Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs Announcement

On October 13, 2023, President Biden and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm announced seven regional clean hydrogen hubs that were selected to receive $7 billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding to accelerate the domestic market for low-cost, clean hydrogen.

Advancing clean hydrogen is essential to achieving the President’s vision of a strong clean energy economy that strengthens energy security, bolsters domestic manufacturing, creates healthier communities, and delivers new jobs and economic opportunities across the nation. The announcement is part of the third installment of the Investing in America tour, during which President Biden will travel to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to announce the historic investment in manufacturing and jobs.

The seven selected regional clean hydrogen hubs will catalyze more than $40 billion in private investment and create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs – bringing the total public and private investment in hydrogen hubs to nearly $50 billion. Roughly two-thirds of total project investment are associated with green (electrolysis based) production, within the hubs. Several of the hubs were developed in close partnerships with unions, with three requiring project labor agreements (PLAs). In addition to job creation and creating healthier air for communities, the selected hydrogen hubs are committed to robust Community Benefit Plans to ensure local priorities are at the forefront and all communities share in the benefits of the clean energy transition.

Collectively, the hubs aim to produce more than three million metric tons of clean hydrogen per year, thereby achieving nearly one third of the 2030 U.S. clean hydrogen production goal. Together, the seven Hydrogen Hubs will eliminate 25 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions from end uses each year—an amount roughly equivalent to combined annual emissions of over 5.5 million gasoline-powered cars. The nearly $50 billion investment is one of the largest investments in clean manufacturing and jobs in history.

Clean hydrogen can reduce emissions in many sectors of the economy and is especially important for hard-to-decarbonize sectors and industrial processes, such as heavy-duty transportation and chemical, steel, and cement manufacturing. Targeted investments in these areas can help reduce costs, make new breakthroughs, and create jobs for American engineers, manufacturing workers, construction workers, and others.

The hubs selected for negotiation include the Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Hub (PNW H2; Washington, Oregon, Montana) which plans to leverage the region’s abundant renewable resources to produce clean hydrogen exclusively from renewable sources. It’s anticipated widescale use of electrolyzers will play a key role in driving down electrolyzer costs, making the technology more accessible to other producers, and reducing the cost of hydrogen production. The Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Hub has committed to negotiating Project Labor Agreements for all projects over $1 million and investing in joint labor-management/state-registered apprenticeship programs. This Hydrogen HUb is expected to create more than 10,000 direct jobs—8,050 in construction jobs and 350 permanent jobs. (Amount: up to $1 billion).