A teacher in a red United Way shirt shows children and parents a book

During the formative years of early childhood, the foundations of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) education can be seamlessly woven into the fabric of daily activities. Young children are innately curious and possess an inherent interest in figuring out how things work. With every interaction, children embark on scientific journeys. United Way's Early Learning Washington County team invests heavily in this innate curiosity, expanding access to critical resources and knowledge through the county. With their STEAM Maniac learning pop-ups, our team invites families to a day of fun, engaging and hands-on learning.

These events bring families together to share easy, at-home projects and experiments that parents can use to engage their children as well as teach them critical skills. On Saturday, September 23, STEAM Maniac was hosted at the Hillsboro Community Senior Center bringing around 50 folks together for free activities focused on children ages three to five. This event, sponsored by PNC Bank and supported by the Portland Metro STEM Partnership, is just one of many that families in Washington County will enjoy!

"It's a great thing to do on a Saturday afternoon," said Abhijit Baburaj, who attended the event with his daughter Anayra. "[My daughter] needs more time doing math and science and she loves doing hands-on things! We will definitely try these projects out at home."

two teachers take a photo with two children and a big T-rex toy

Abhijit was far from alone in enjoying these projects! The room was filled with laughter, smiles and wide, interested eyes. In the Science corner, children were read a story about dinosaurs, and then got to build a dinosaur egg using baking soda and water. Inside the egg was a dinosaur toy, and donning safety goggles, the children were able to crack the egg with drops of vinegar. This helped the children learn about the life cycles of dinosaurs, basic chemical reactions and more, all while having fun with household materials parents can use beyond STEAM Maniac.

Abhijit and his daughter loved cracking open a dinosaur egg with droplets of vinegar!

You'll have to attend one of the many upcoming STEAM Maniac events yourself to learn more about the activities slated for Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Art! We can promise that these fun, hands-on experiments are well worth a trip, for you and your kids.

Last month's STEAM Maniac event was the first of many, so keep an eye out for other events occurring in Washington County, and always be looking for a new way to engage children's curiosity. Learn more about the efforts of United Way's Early Learning Washington County team on their website here. And thanks again to PNC Bank and the Portland Metro STEM Partnership for their support in this important, family-friendly event!