In the next four years, some 45,000 jobs in Washington will go unfilled due to a lack of qualified candidates. The bulk of those jobs will be in the STEAM/STEM-related fields. Tacoma students have the opportunity to prepare themselves to reach graduation, enroll in and complete a post-secondary training or educational pursuit, and claim those jobs right here in their home state.

Watch the videos below to learn how five Tacoma STEAM professionals pursued their STEAM dreams and worked hard to wind up with rewarding careers.

Tacoma STEAM Professionals: Powered up with STEAM

TPS students in the lab


Kelly Gutierrez, Registered Nurse

Science Nurse


Paul Castillo,       Systems Analyst


Darius Thompson, Project Engineer

D Thompson-Project Engineer


Jennifer Weddermann, Architect/Metal Artist



Shalma Wellington, Pipefitter/ Welder/Plumber



Use these links to access fun, interesting, educational STEAM programming in and around Tacoma. Opportunities to power up YOUR future are everywhere you turn!

Tacoma Public Schools (TPS) is a choice district, meaning if you live in Tacoma you may opt to enroll in any TPS school. TPS offers many STEAM learning experiences at various levels of education K-12. TPS has been recognized for many Innovative Schools, many of which are STEAM specific. For more information on specific schools please contact that school directly. VIEW SITE

4H offers Tech Wizards at two locations in Tacoma. Tech Wizards club offers youth the opportunity to participate in photography, video making and editing, wind power and engineering, digital storytelling, robotics, and computer skills. VIEW SITE

Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC) has a registered youth apprenticeship that is 2,000 hours designed for high school juniors and seniors to develop career-ready skills in the aerospace and advanced manufacturing industries. The AJAC program combines paid on-the-job training with college-level classroom instruction. VIEW SITE

Join Apple Camp, a free three-day program for kids ages 8 to 12. They’ll broaden their creative horizons by making movies, composing musical stories, coding games and robots, and more using Apple products. VIEW SITE

Each club offers a variety of programming, with plenty STEAM learning opportunities. Please check with your local club for active programming. VIEW SITE

Bricks 4 Kids builds on the universal popularity of LEGO Bricks, to deliver high quality, educational play. Children will enjoy using LEGO Bricks to build specially-designed motorized models, creative characters and artistic mosaics, and explore the world of engineering, architecture and movie making. VIEW SITE

Children are presented with fun, hands-on challenges that encourage creative problem solving, teamwork, entrepreneurship, and innovation. Camp invention is led by experienced local educators and new curriculum is introduced each year, inspired by the Inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame. VIEW SITE

The Children’s Museum of Tacoma hosts STEAM programming and summer camps and has many hands on STEAM learning activities that engage STEAM concepts and awareness. VIEW SITE is a free resource where students can learn how to code programs and apps as well as build websites. VIEW SITE

The Tacoma Clubhouse is a drop-in center that provides a creative a safe out-of-school learning environment where young people work with adult mentors and their peers to explore their own ideas, develop new skills, and build confidence in themselves through the use of technology. VIEW SITE

FabLab offers classes and clubs that range from Virtual Reality to 3D printing to coding and many other practical STEAM skills. FabLab offers hands on project based learning where participants can visualize and engineer their ideas from start to finish. VIEW SITE

The Foss Waterway Seaport is rich with hands on maritime STEAM learning activities and camps. This is a great place to visit and engage the curiosity of youth. VIEW SITE

Girls Who Code is a free after-school program for 6-12th grade girls to use computer science to impact their community and join a sisterhood of supportive peers and role models. Club girls learn the concepts of loops, variables, conditionals, and functions that form the basis for all programming languages — whether they want to build a website, an app, or a robot. VIEW SITE

At iD Tech Camps, participants build valuable STEM skills in a fun and inspiring setting. Participants will learn to code an app, design a video game, engineer a robot, and so much more. VIEW SITE

To create a rich learning network the Museum offers a variety of educational programs. The wide range of automobiles in their collection and rotating exhibits offer learning opportunism across all STEAM disciplines. VIEW SITE

The M.A.T.H. Center at the Goodwill offers free math tutoring as a drop in for anyone 16+ seeking assistance with mathematics. VIEW SITE

Math Science Leadership (MSL) is a tuition-free program designed to enhance academic success and access to career pathways in STEM. Students are brought together with peers, mentors, and university faculty to build positive science-linked identities and leadership skills. VIEW SITE

Metro Parks offers a wide array of STEAM learning throughout the academic year and summer through classes, events, and clubs. Participants can take part in coding, broadcasting, digital arts, engineering design, and much more. VIEW SITE

MultiCare Nurse Camp is a free summer camp at Tacoma General and Mary Bridge Children’s Hospitals for high school students who want to explore a nursing career or other health profession. Participants will join an array of professionals in hand-on learning and witness the multifaceted world of healthcare. VIEW SITE

The Museum of Glass (MOG) offers creative hands-on workshops for youth as well as exhibits that display the creative process of design from start to finish. Don’t forget the third Thursday of every month is free admission to the museum. VIEW SITE

Pierce Conservation District works with local landowners and public agencies to conserve natural resources that are essential to both our economy and our region’s quality of life. Much of this is done by way of education to the public such as tours and workshops. VIEW SITE

The Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium (PDZA) is rich with STEAM learning. PDZA offers opportunities for all ages and topics from nature to wildlife. Youth can experience what it’s like to be a zookeeper, marine biologist, aquarist, or learn research to keep our shores and marshes safe and healthy for wildlife. VIEW SITE

Science 2 Go at the Pierce County Library offers STEM resources for free checkout throughout the Pierce County Libraries. Checkout includes books and activity sheets for young kids and families to learn and do together. VIEW SITE

The Slater Museum is one of the Pacific Northwest’s significant repositories of biological specimens. The museum offers a well-curated archive of animal and plant specimens for research and education that is always growing. The museum is open to the public to come learn all about the plant and animal specimens, ask questions, and get hands on. VIEW SITE

Summer Academic Challenge (SAC) is a tuition-free summer math and science enrichment program that provides hands on learning opportunities. Students study specific mathematical and scientific concepts throughout the program through group work, building models, executing computer programs, conducting lab experiments, and patriating in field trips. VIEW SITE

Summer Jobs 253 offers TPS students the opportunity to earn high school credit, college credits, and gain meaningful work experience in various fields, including STEAM. VIEW SITE

The Tacoma Art Museum (TAM) has many art infused events and camps while also exhibiting collections that highlight the creative process of STEAM professionals; such can be seen in architecture.  Don’t forget the third Thursday of every month is free admission to the museum. VIEW SITE

The Tacoma Nature Center offers events, classes, camps, and programs for many science disciplines. Youth can learn about biology, wildlife, natural resources, and many other science concepts. VIEW SITE

The Tacoma Public Library offers many STEAM infused events at various branches from game design to computer coding. Check your local branch for STEAM learning opportunities. VIEW SITE

Career & Technical Education (CTE) courses are a graduation requirement for Washington State. See the vast opportunities of CTE courses and certification programs that Tacoma Public Schools offers students to enhance college and career readiness. VIEW SITE

Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) is a program infused in many schools as an elective course that supports underrepresented students achieving and contributing their full potential is STEM by way of project-based hands-on math and science activities. MESA also hosts tutoring/study groups, after school enrichment, and summer programs. VIEW SITE

The Tacoma Tide Flats Certification Program is designed to create a pipeline for TPS students to fill entry-level maritime employment positions within the Port of Tacoma. VIEW SITE

Tinkertopia is a premier tinkering space for young artists, inventors, makers, and hackers that are looking for a space to design and let creativity flow. VIEW SITE

Each branch offers a variety of STEAM programming and clubs from Artist Workshops to LEGO Robotics to App Design. Please check availability of classes and clubs at the different branches. VIEW SITE

Zestful Gardens offers youth camps that foster creativity and curiosity while educating youth on agriculture and our local ecosystem. VIEW SITE