Capital STEM Alliance Newsletter – October 2023

Group Kid teen child enjoy Machine Learning Robot arm is Moving Under coding Control robot

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



Timberland Regional Library is excited to announce that their new and improved website will be up and running in all branches beginning October 23. In addition, four new Mobile Services vans have been put into service in some of our region’s most rural and remote communities, reaching over 525 customers. TRL will have extended access hours at the following branches: Ilwaco, Westport, Ocean Park, Naselle, Elma, McCleary, Packwood, and Tenino.

To access the public preview of their new website by clicking here. Visitors are encouraged to explore the site, discover its features, and share their feedback here until 10/20/2023. Timberland Regional Library is excited to invite the community to explore its cutting-edge website during this public preview period. Discover a wealth of resources and services at your fingertips as we strive to make the library experience accessible and engaging for all.

Lewis County

United Way of Lewis County is holding its annual Pints with Purpose Brewfest on October 7 from 1-6 pm to benefit United Way programs. The event will be held at The Orchard at Sunshine Hill, 2178 S. Scheuber Rd, Chehalis, WA. Cost is $30 per person and $50 VIP. There will be local beers, cider, wine and spirits, food trucks, games, raffle prizes, and live entertainment. Go here for more information or to register for this event.

Hispanic Roundtable and Centralia College are proud to announce that the next Latinx Youth Summit will occur on Friday, November 17, 2023. We know that the school year is quickly ending, 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 LYS at the Centralia College campus on November 17, 2023! For more information, please contact Betsy Storey, Public Relations Specialist at Timberland Regional Library.

Mason County Consortium

Family Education and Support Services (FESS) is holding its virtual “Strengthening Families Conference” on Friday, November 3, 2023. 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. Early Bird registration is $50 through October 13. For more information, please visit the event flyer.

FESS is also taking registrations for their annual Family Cornhole Challenge and Ghostly Gathering on Saturday, October 28, from noon – 8 pm at the Thurston County Fairgrounds. There will be live music, food and drinks, raffle prizes, a costume contest, activities for kids, teens and adults, a trunk-or-treat, and more! Go here for more information or to register.

The Shelton Skookum Rotary Club presents its West Coast Oyster Shucking Championship and State Seafood Festival on October 7-8, from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. For more information, please visit the flyer  or go online at

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 at the North Mason Timberland Regional Library – 23081 NE State Route 3 in Belfair
  • Every Friday at 10:30 am at the Shelton Timberland Regional Library – 710 W. Alder Street in Shelton

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

Child Care Action Council is hosting a free program called Parents as Teachers that brings parent support, prenatal support, free books, diapers and play groups. The program is funded by the Dept. of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) and is led in English, Spanish, and Kanjobal. For more information, please contact Dominga Antonio-Nolasco at [email protected] or Andrea Antonio-Nolasco at [email protected].

Mason County Public Health and Human Services invites Mason County Adults ages 18+ to participate in an online survey about their view on youth substance use in the community. This information will enable a better understanding of adult feelings and to better serve youth in Mason County.

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.

Thurston County

Big Brothers Big Sisters is holding their annual Trick-or-Read Drive Thru event on October 28 from 1-4 pm in the parking lot of the Olympia office. Last year, they had 568 people come through—300+ of whom were kids. They partnered with the South Sound Reading Foundation, TwinStar Credit Union, Olympia City Church, and Timberland Regional Library (and more!) to pass out books, candy, and other goodies.

They invite your community organization and/or business to join us to pass out books, swag, candy, program information, and other goodies. If your organization/business is interested, sign up here. Feel free to pass this on to others that might be interested. This is a completely FREE community event open to all families (not just BBBS participants). Please post and share the Facebook event through your networks to families who may be interested: Trick-or-Read Drive Thru. They are accepting the following items as donations: new Halloween candy, new or gently used books for youth, new or gently used Halloween costumes. They can be donated at the Olympia office Mon-Thurs 9 am-5 pm, Fri 9 am-3 pm, or by appointment.

STEM Network

Capital Region ESD 113 is thrilled to announce that Washington STEM has recognized Olympia High School’s Laasya Anjana Yaramaka as one of its 11 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.

Pacific Education Institute Updates 

Outdoor Schools for Fall Training: Have you ever dreamed of starting or improving your 5th/6th grade outdoor school program? Are you a site or a school? Register now for the fall Outdoor Schools For All Training in beautiful Ocean Park! Outdoor School site staff and public-school teachers planning overnight outdoor programs for 5th and 6th grade students. This event is open to those who have attended our previous trainings, as new sessions have been added to the schedule, and options for participant choice included. Sponsored by Outdoor Schools Washington, partnering with Pacific Education Institute and Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

  • What: Sessions led by experts in the field, experiential learning, plenty of time in nature, time for team planning, individualized help, funding sources, connections with community partners, laughter, songs, campfires, fun!
  • When & Where:  October 24-27, 2023–Ocean Park Camp and Retreat Center; Ocean Park, WA
  • How: When you sign up, you’ll be prompted to create an account with AWSP and then be asked for a credit card number. If you attend the training, your card will not be charged. Clock hours For more information, please see the event flyer.

Environmental & Sustainability Literacy Student Summit: Do you have a group of students passionate about the environment and climate? The Environmental and Sustainability Literacy Student Summit invites student teams from across the state to bring project displays that highlight learning and student activities focused on climate and environmental education topics. Selected projects will have the opportunity to present their projects to Washington state department and agency leaders, state policy leaders, and legislators. Submit an application today and we hope to see you in January!

Important Dates:

  • September 28: Applications due. Notifications will be sent by October 6.
  • January 25:Summit, noon to 6:00 pm
  • January 26:Day at the Capitol, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm (time may vary slightly due to legislature availability)

Want more information? Contact Molly Griffiths. or click on this link to the flyer.

Career Connected Learning Regional Network

Congratulations to Pacific Education Institute and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Washington for receiving grant awards as Program Builders in CCW Round 11! Big Brothers Big Sisters plans to expand their Career Mentor Explore (CME) program into additional counties in the Capital region, and PEI plans to expand their work with Tribal schools on their Field STEM curriculum.

Career Explore/Prep Program Builder Pilot Funding Available – The Capital STEM Alliance is pleased to announce that it has been awarded another two-year grant from Employment Security Department and Career Connect Washington, to continue serving as the Career Connected Learning Regional Network for our five counties.

A limited amount of pass-through funding from this grant is available to support potential program builders. If you are an educational institution (P-12 or post-secondary), employer (business and industry), community-based organization, Tribal Council, military organization, state or local agency, or any other entity that might be interested, please contact a member of our team for a consultation.

Career Connect Washington New Grant Funding – This State year’s final Program Builder RFPs, ABA Round 2 and Program Builder Round 12, are scheduled to open on October 16 with a close date of December 1, 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.

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.

  • When: Tuesday, November 14, 2023 – Thursday, November 16, 2023
  • Where: Tacoma Downtown Marriott | 1538 Commerce Street, Tacoma, WA 98402

Click the link below to bookmark our Fall Conference page to stay up to date with new information! The Call for presentations and registration will open in late spring.

If you have questions or need accommodations to attend the meeting, please contact the Event Producers at 425-420-1680.

South Puget Intertribal Planning Agency (SPIPA) News: Greetings and welcome to the latest issue of Future Pathways in CTE, STEM, and STEAM, a SPIPA WFD educational newsletter. This issue focuses specifically on Career Technical Education (CTE), the connection between CTE and STEM, and Vocational Skills Centers in our region.

If you have questions or want to learn more about CTE, STEM, and STEAM, please contact CTE Navigator, James Wark, 360-463-7509.

Thurston Chamber Foundation will be holding its annual Future of Work Summit on October 24, 2023, from 8:30 – 4:00 at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound. Successful businesses need a skilled workforce, yet low unemployment means savvy business owners must find new ways to find employees. The Future of Work Summit promises to be an unparalleled opportunity to gain valuable insights, engage in meaningful discussions, and establish connections that will shape the future of workforce development in the region.

At the Summit, attendees will:

  • Gather tools to create a talent pipeline
  • Learn how to develop an on-the-job training program
  • Understand best practices in developing an internship program
  • Develop community relationships with educators and other business owners

The Capital STEM Alliance is a proud sponsor of this event! For more information or to register for this event, please visit this link to the flyer.

Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council (PacMtn WDC) is looking for public input to help refine the regional workforce development system, serving employers and job-seekers better, and training workers for future jobs. Please visit this link to complete a brief survey and provide your feedback!