A mini programable robot is one of the many resources available to check out from The Umpqua Valley Steam Hub Resource Lending Library.

Gwen Soderberg-Chase

Douglas County Partners for Student Success and Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub are committed to providing children, families and educators quality learning opportunities as well as supporting youth to create purposeful plans for their future. We connect people with resources to build the skills needed to identify problems, visualize and create innovative solutions.

DCPSS consists of community partners, each offering unique paths to support students’ social and economic stability. The collaborative efforts create an expanded impact to promote the importance of high school graduation and the educational and/or career choices that follow.

The Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub sits under the umbrella of DCPSS and offers an approach to teaching and lifelong learning that emphasizes the natural interconnectedness of five separate STEAM disciplines: Science, Technology, Engineering, Artistic Innovation and Mathematics. Becoming STEAM Thinkers (problem-solvers, innovators, critical thinkers and collaborative team players) is seen as a necessary goal for all!

The following resources are available for the benefit of all students and educators — to help develop thinkers, doers and designers:

Resource Lending LibraryAre you a teacher looking for ways to enhance your students’ distance or in-classroom learning experiences? The Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub is excited to announce a new user-friendly web platform that provides a streamlined way to check out items from the Resource Lending Library.

The items available include an egg incubator, wind experiment kit, programable drone and more! Our resources meet the learning needs of all age groups from pre-school to adults. Explore all the equipment available at

Equipment will be sanitized between uses. We are also looking for suggestions to add to our library and teacher-designed lessons that include the use of lending library equipment. Email your ideas to

Bright Futures UmpquaDCPSS has launched an ongoing, collaborative website between regional organizations and institutions. The website is a toolkit for students to plan for life after high school. The tools steer students toward career paths and post-secondary education opportunities, while providing resources for parents, educators and industry leaders to help students succeed. The content helps students explore options, write resumes and find internships. Education resources highlight majors, certifications, colleges, financial aid, grants, scholarships and the college application process.

Oregon ConnectionsHelp students from kindergarteners to high school seniors connect what they are learning in school to real-world professions with Oregon Connections. The resource brings industry professionals to classrooms — virtually. The program is successful in part due to skill-based volunteers who share their knowledge with students.

Oregon educators can sign up for a free platinum license to access the career-education tool through Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub. We are currently developing virtual field trips based on teacher and industry needs that can be attended live. Students can attend either as part of a classroom or individually.

You can also access a library of nearly 10,000 prerecorded videos that include workplace tours and informational discussions. Some of the featured talks include beekeepers, geologists, aerospace engineers and graphic artists. You may also invite an industry professional to speak directly with your students.

To request access to an Oregon Connections license, please fill out the following form: For more information about Oregon Connections or to become an industry volunteer, visit

Professional DevelopmentIf you’re an educator looking for professional development opportunities, be sure to stop by

Ongoing OpportunitiesLike the DCPSS & Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub Facebook page ( to get updates about even more amazing resources. If you’re a STEAM advocate, you’re invited to join the DCPSS & Umpqua Valley Steam Hub Facebook forum group to share ideas at

DCPSS is committed to supporting the success of all students. Visit to learn more about a growing collection of exciting resources for students, parents, mentors and educators.

Gwen Soderberg-Chase is the executive director of Douglas County Partners for Student Success, and the Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub. She has been an educator in Douglas County for more than 40 years and is currently an Associate Professor of Education at Umpqua Community College. She also serves on the board of directors for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Umpqua Valley.

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