Let’s Grow STEAMx began as an effort to help our youth connect what they were learning in school to the “real world.” We knew that STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) subjects were in high demand in the global workforce, and we wanted to ensure that our youth could discover and tap into the STEAM-related activities, businesses, and opportunities available to them in the Greater Columbus area and beyond.
We set our sights on soap box derby racing because it tied in so closely with our core value of helping youth engage in STEAM learning through an academic sport. In 2017, we began offering free STEAM-based workshops throughout the community to expose participants to the sport of gravity (motorless) racing and to highlight the science behind derby racing with partners and co-facilitators from the Coca-Cola Space Science Center, the Columbus Museum, and Doc Atoms.
We held our first soap box derby race in 2017, and in 2019, we formalized and expanded the program to include a sanctioned race, which allowed us to offer a progressive step in our derby program. The winner of this sanctioned race was also able to attend the International Soap Box Derby in Akron, Ohio, to meet and compete against racers from all over the world.
2017 also saw the inaugural Youth College and Career Expo (YCCExpo), which brought together businesses, community organizations, colleges, and universities to help local students discover a whole new world of educational and career opportunities in the STEAM disciplines. YCCExpo has continued to grow and expand, leading more students every year to explore the possibilities for life after high school!
and the 2021 YCCExpo will be even bigger as we go hybrid, adding a new virtual component! We’re excited to welcome:
- 25k+ Student Attendees (In-person & virtual)
- 300+ Regional Volunteers
- 200+ Companies, Organizations, Colleges & Universities
- 200+ Mock Interviews Conducted
- 100+ Career Paths Represented
- 46 School Districts
- 10 Private Schools & Home School Networks
- 5 Youth Recognized for Leadership in STEAM Award
Since its inception, Let’s Grow STEAMx has exposed thousands of students to hands-on experiences, internships, networking, and college and career opportunities in the local region and beyond…and we’re just getting started!
To activate generations of students and communities all around the world in discovering how to best utilize their most abundant resource – their imagination, thereby cultivating a love for life-long learning through participation in our competitive, travelling educational platforms, enrichment camps, curriculum and educational products.
To enrich, grow, and strengthen the offerings of education in the areas of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math in an informal, fun, community atmosphere that activates greater depth of learning for participants.
Board of Directors
Our Board of Directors is passionate about creating access and opportunity for young people in STEAM. They serve as a liaison between public schools and the private sector, connecting employers with their future workforce and helping youth make informed, inspired decisions about their education after high school.