The YMCA is a cause-driven charitable organization here to strengthen the foundation of community in the areas of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Seeing a need to expanding STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, YMCA Senior Vice President of Program Development, Janice Williams, developed a unique experience with hands-on activities called Thingamajig®.
Thingamajig® is a STEM festival where children can create their own experience. What started as a small science fair for 150 youth, expanded to an all-day convention with over 4,000 young attendees. The event houses a variety of hands-on experiments and activities all geared to excite children with science. There are robots, physical challenges, building experiences and so much more. Children also have the option of submitting a hand-made invention into our Invention Challenge, under fun categories like robots, flying gizmos, action contraption or Rube Goldberg. There’s also a talent competition.
STEM careers have become wildly popular and in need, but more children need access to science to fully understand their importance and role. Invention allows children to exercise their imaginations and creativity, and Thingamajig acts as a way of introducing children into new perspectives.
In addition to being free and open to the community, Thingamajig acts as a catalyst to help close the achievement gap. Many children from low-income households do not have access to quality stimulation during the summer time, and are prone to summer learning loss. By participating in this hands-on experience or creating an invention, children are able to learn during the summer.
The 2016 convention takes place on Thursday, July 28th from 9 am to 3 pm at The Show Place Arena at 14900 Pennsylvania Ave., Upper Marlboro, MD.
Check out our video on last year’s convention:
Submitted by: Bethany Roessner and Albert Nimley, Communications Team at YMCA of Metropolitan Washington.
S&S Worldwide is proud to sponsor the Y in their efforts to improve the lives of children and families. Their staff shared their appreciation by saying, “Thank you for your generous donation….to the YMCA of Metropoliton Washington’s Thingamajig Convention….and for helping us build strong kids, strong families, and strong communities!”