The Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub is thrilled to announce that STEAM Week 2021 kicked off yesterday with hands-on activities and will continue through May 16.

Our seventh annual STEAM Week is free to participants and celebrates the interconnectedness between science, technology, engineering, art and math. The theme this year is Design, Invent, Inspire. Throughout the week there will be many opportunities for families, students in grades PreK-12 and educators to engage in relevant and equitable learning.

The mission of the week is to raise awareness of STEAM education and to highlight our many partners who deliver quality STEAM education on a regular basis. Our partnerships also extend beyond our community and connect to a statewide movement known as STEM Oregon that includes 13 STEM or STEAM Hubs that serve Oregon youth and families, all of whom will be also participating in the many events of STEAM Week 2021. This year ReMake Learning Days Across America provided mini grants to help fund some of the statewide public events.

Umpqua Valley is fortunate to have dedicated partners who love promoting STEAM learning throughout our region to bring lifelong learners together. There will be various options for the community to participate locally, virtually or at home.

During STEAM Week, participants will have the chance to pick and choose what interests them. There’s something for all ages and interests. The activities and registration links can be found at www.dcpss.org/extravaganza.

We’re excited to share an overview of some of the activities planned:

  • Daily Challenges will give families opportunities to experience STEAM while using household items. The themes include: Make it Monday, Take it Apart Tuesday, What are you Wondering Wednesday, Think about it Thursday, Field Trip Friday, Sounds and Shadows Saturday, Soaring Sunday. The step-by-step instructions in both Spanish and English engage big imaginations.
  • Glendale Community Library is planning onsite Daily Challenges activities for families from 3:30-5 p.m. Wednesday, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
  • Oregon Connections will offer weeklong virtual industry chat field trips to bring real-world context to STEAM-related professions. The lineup of more than 25 options includes: A Career in Filmmaking, Wondering about Wildlife in Working Forests, Life as a Pilot and more! Registration required.
  • Eastwood Self-guided Nature Trail Walk on Saturday will allow people to visit a fish hatchery, walk through a forest, see a Native American plank house replica and view wildlife.
  • Bright Futures Umpqua at 5 p.m. Monday. AmeriCorp members will teach coding virtually and share information about computer science careers.
  • Boys & Girls Club of Umpqua Valley will distribute STEAM activity kits throughout the week to families and also share daily challenges on Facebook at

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  • Wildlife Safari will distribute 60 owl pellet kits to families coming in to explore the park during the first weekend of STEAM Week 2021. First come, first serve, May 8-9.
  • Elkton Community Education Center will provide a virtual tour of the butterfly garden on Field Trip on Friday.
  • Oregon STEAM Hubs are hosting a statewide, weeklong virtual viewing of the documentary Picture a Scientist, followed by discussion opportunities.

The activities above are only a snapshot of the many opportunities taking place throughout Umpqua Valley that include nonprofits and more. It’s important to note that some of the activities related to STEAM Week will take place in school settings and aren’t accessible to the public. This involvement shows the immense interest and value of STEAM education in PreK and above.

During STEAM Week, help celebrate STEAM by sharing your involvement during STEAM Week on Facebook or Instagram. Use the hashtag #UVSTEAM to be entered in a drawing to win a prize. The STEAM Hub will also promote activities on www.facebook.com/UVRSH.

COVID-19 precautions mandated by the state should be followed.

If you have questions, please contact me at gwen.soderberg-chase@umpqua.edu

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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