The Tacoma STEAM Learning Network is  expanding equitable access, interest, experience, and success in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) for all Tacoma students, particularly girls, students of color, and those impacted by poverty.


Increase STEM Access

Students are exposed to Earth and Space science using technology and resources not often accessible to underrepresented populations. Over 300 students have participated in STEM Access activities since 2018.

Career Connected Learning

The Network channels funding support from the Career Connect WA Grant to create and/or expand programs that provide students with job training and exposure to the local workforce.

STEM Scholarships

The Network provides training to counselors, educators, and service providers to support students applying for the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship. Tacoma students were awarded $2.4 million in 2019.

Tacoma Math

A shared community goal to create a culture of love for Math, equipping to support early STEM and connecting math to real-world concepts for school-age youth. Explore, discover, enjoy, and celebrate the connections between math and the community around us.

Talking About Math

When you describe how you approach a task, you are not only sharing your strategy, you are showing ways to problem solve. When you say, “I see a triangle there, so that makes me think about half of a rectangle…” you are helping children see HOW to think, not WHAT to think.

Ask any expert in any field and they will tell you that making mistakes help them become the achievers they are. Mistakes are opportunities to learn and refine our thinking. Show children that mistakes are ok and are even important for learning.

Yes, answers are important, but let’s face it, in the modern world getting an answer is easy. What we need are creative thinkers in our world. Help nurture creative thinking by talking about thinking

Count things. Figure out change. Calculate how much time things take. When children see the adults they care about using math, they are inclined to try it too.

Sometimes adults don’t have the answers. That’s ok! One of the best responses may be, “I’m not sure. Let’s figure it out together."

“I’m not a math person" is a type of message that can unintentionally deflate confidence in a child’s ability to succeed at math. Try shifting to, “I try very hard at math,” or “I know I will get it if I work hard.”

Sometimes adults can over-help with math. It’s ok for kids to come to a deeper understanding on their own. Think about the times when you have worked hard and achieved, and help others feel that same sense of accomplishment and confidence.

Be playful and have fun. Math is everywhere. Math is beautiful. Math is creative.

STEAM Careers

The demand for STEAM careers is growing every year.  Exploring STEAM careers allows students to explore through curiosity, play and hands-on learning. STEAM is intentional about connecting the arts in and through the STEM areas.  


Chanel Hall

STEAM Manager | Foundation for Tacoma Students

John Ashworth

Project Manager | Korsmo Construction

Erika Tucci

Senior Program Officer | Ben B. Cheney Foundation

Peter Selkin

Math Professor | University of Washington Tacoma

J.R. Nobles

Executive Director | Friends of the Children

Monique Valenzuela

Executive Director & CEO | Youth Marine Foundation

Christina Rupp

Director of Postsecondary Pathways | Palmer Scholars