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STEM Exploration Night Draws 3,600+ in Attendance

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STEM Exploration Night Draws 3,600+ in Attendance

Federal Way Public Schools’ seventh annual STEM Exploration Night draws in record-breaking 3,600+ in attendance, nearly triple last year’s turnout.


Federal Way, Wash. — On Thursday, March 14, 2024, Federal Way Public Schools (FWPS) hosted the seventh annual STEM Exploration Night, attracting a record-breaking crowd of over 3,600. Scholars and families explored science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and learned about career opportunities that lead to high-demand careers in the region.

This year’s event, themed From Imagination to Innovation, aimed to help scholars envision how to take an idea from their imagination and turn it into reality. By visiting booths representing different STEM pathways, speaking with STEM industry professionals, and viewing school projects and course options, scholars learned about the STEM opportunities available in FWPS and beyond in college and careers.

The event brimmed with activities for scholars to engage in. Scholars were able to visit over 120 industry partner and scholar booths featuring STEM-related career information, hands-on activities, and school programs and projects. Interactive demonstrations were plentiful, and scholars enjoyed elementary, middle, and high school robotics showcases, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) experiences, origami making, and horticulture activities to name a few.

There were several improvements made this year to support a positive event experience for partners and families alike. Curbside partner check-in, a helpdesk, increased interpreters available, and special attractions categorized as drop-in or scheduled, helped families better navigate the event. The new interactive online program also gave families an option to filter the evening’s events by category, age group, and interest.

CTE workshops were also added this year for scholars to learn about CTE courses available in our district. Students had a chance to watch a cooking demonstration led by the award-winning chef and “Chopped” contestant Jan Parker, practice using power tools in the highly popular Pre-Apprenticeship construction workshop and fly an airplane using a flight simulator among other things.

While new items drew a crowd, so did returning attractions. Scholars and family poured into the theater to view the annual STEM Film Festival highlighting scholar-produced films and enjoyed crafting their own environment through the Minecraft Engineering Challenge.

"The best part of tonight would probably be educating people about the Douglas Fir, and also getting to explore, get out of my comfort zone, and learn new things from a variety of different resources,” shared Kahlel, a high school booth participant and attendee. “This event is very important because it allows youth to have access to opportunities. It allows [students] to see what they want to do with their future.”

STEM Exploration Night supplements school-based learning and provides an access point for all scholars to learn about the many careers and opportunities within STEM. Scholars can explore, prepare, and launch into STEM pathways which can lead to high-demand, lucrative careers.

FWPS is committed to helping each scholar successfully navigate the critical transitions in their schooling to graduate from high school ready for college, career, and postsecondary experiences (Goal 5). The district is continually building capacity to implement new ways for scholars to engage in STEM through new partnerships, programs, and improved curriculum.

This year’s STEM Exploration Night was sponsored by BNBuilders, FORMA Construction, Highline College, Sound Transit, Alaska Airlines, INTEGRUS, Lakehaven Water and Sewer District, and South King Fire.