Category Archives: STEM

NEW kids show at the Science Dome

Have you ever wondered… What is water made of? Why do we get rain? How are snowflakes formed and why is each one unique? Dive on in and explore the fascinating world of water!

Saturdays this November and December (excluding 11/26 and 12/24) at 12:30 and 2 pm. $6 per child. Adults free!

All ages shows this week:
Undiscovered Worlds, 7 pm Friday November 4th
Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity, 3:15 pm Saturday November 5th
All ages shows consist of a half hour live astronomy presentation followed by a fulldome video. Approximately 1 hour total. $6.

Plan Ahead!
Review our online schedule!
CWU Family Science Night, Friday December 2nd 5:30 – 7 pm.

Calling all Makers! (Young ones especially)

MAKERFEST is May 21st at Pierce College.  What will YOU show this year?


What is MakerFest?

MakerFest is an event where makers can show off what they have made and how they made it. Think of it as a big-show-and-tell event. It provides an opportunity for people to gather, connect, and explore the processes, products, and joys of making. MakerFest is inspired by MAKE magazine’s annual Maker Faires, but is not affiliated with or endorsed by the MAKE brand or company. Features of the Fest include; displays, demonstrations, workshops, and hands-on activities.

Our Manifesto:

MakerFest is a festival-style celebration of makers. A Maker is a person that engages in the process of making or producing something. Makers run the gamut from woodworkers, tinkerers, coders, crafters, to robot builders. The Maker movement includes amateurs, enthusiasts, hobbyists, innovators, and entrepreneurs.

MakerFest is a free, non-commercial, non-competitive, community-building event. It provides an opportunity for people to gather, connect, and explore the processes, products, and joys of making. The goal of MakerFest is to engage and excite youth, families, and adults to explore Maker/DIY (Do-It-Yourself) culture and become Makers themselves.

MakerFest is an inclusive event; gathering folks of all ages, ethnicities, cultures, genders, and sexual orientations.

What is a maker?

Chris Williamson, a maker himself, put it this way:

A maker is anyone that uses their abilities to create, whether it be mechanical, electrical, musical, visual or anything else. This world is full of things that were created by makers. Without makers, there would be no innovation and creation. That want of those things, and teaching myself how to make things in order to have them is the engine of everything I have achieved in my whole life up till now… It doesn’t matter what you make, and it doesn’t matter why. The importance is that you are making something.

Want to know more?

Read This: What does it really mean to be a Maker? By Charles Gantt

Watch This: Adam Savage’s Maker Faire 2012 Talk: Why We Make

CPTC: Mechatronics Students Learn Robotics


Loussaint Minett wishes he’d kept the drawing of a square that turned out to look more like a rhombus. The lab technician for the Mechatronics Program at Clover Park Technical College wasn’t looking to keep it for its artistic value, but so he could look back at how far his robotics students have come.

Mechatronics01-compressorWhen the first cohort of Mechatronics students started in Fall Quarter 2014, most of the students had little knowledge of programming and robotics. Now the students are programming a FANUC robotic arm to draw images.

“It’s pretty cool to know that a year ago we didn’t really know anything, but now we’re programming a robot and understanding the physical things going on inside it,” said student Steven Lindberg.

It was Lindberg’s idea to program the robot to draw a monkey with glasses after the students mastered the square and baby-stepped to more advanced projects. Lindberg found a picture on the Internet, sketched it out on paper to scale, drew some points and showed it to the group.

Once the image was programmed, the students placed a marker in the robot’s grip and watched it create their design.

“What we see when we’re telling the robot what to do are a whole bunch of lines of numbers and letters that don’t seem to make sense,” said student Lucas Edlund. “But once we hit the start button and it runs through and we have the picture at the end, we see what it turned into.”

The class has since moved into 3-D drawings, and eventually they’ll be able to direct the robot to put the marker down and pick up another color.

“It intrigues them to get to program something to do something, instead of them having to do something,” Minett said.

TJ Horsfall’s interest was sparked by the Mechatronics Program because of the amount of hands-on work. When his dad, who works at Boeing, told him the company has been recruiting people with mechatronics degrees, Horsfall enrolled at CPTC when it launched its program.

Mechatronics is a multi-disciplinary field involving electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and computer engineering. The Mechatronics Program teaches students how to do hands-on engineering work.

“I like a lot of the mechanical work,” Horsfall said. “I like to work with my hands more than typing code on a computer.”

For more information about the Mechatronics Program, visit

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STEM Fair Judge


LAKEWOOD- Clover Park School District’s annual Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Fair will be held Saturday, Feb. 20 from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Harrison Preparatory School, 9103 Lakewood Dr. SW in Lakewood. STEM projects from students across the district will be on display. Last year, more than 400 elementary, middle and high school students participated in the fair.STEM Fair Clover Park School District

Many volunteers are needed as STEM Fair judges. Elementary school judging takes place from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and middle and high school judging will take place from 12 to 1:30 p.m. Training will be provided.

“The districtwide STEM Fair fosters the exploration, understanding and communication of science among students,” said Maria Flores, coordinator of the STEM Fair and supervisor of grants and compensatory programs. “It is an invaluable educational opportunity for our potential scientists to share what they have learned and interact with community members.”

If you would like to help as a STEM Fair judge or would like more information, contact Flores at 253-583-5063.