Inspiring the next generation of watershed stewards

Across Tillamook County, a partnership of 18 local organizations works together to provide a variety of STEAM programs to Tillamook County K-12 students. Together, this partnership offers students numerous experiential education programs, including environmental science field trips, farm-to-table school gardens, science fairs, cultural programming, research projects, professional development, and more. Each year, hundreds of students participate in these programs, which are made possible by volunteer STEAM Coaches.

LNCT kids collect insects
Photo: Lower Nehalem Community Trust

STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics

The vision of the Tillamook County STEAM Partnership is to provide Tillamook County students, from pre-k to community college, equal access to high-quality programs in the field and classrooms that promote real-world problem solving. STEAM education is multidimensional, encouraging creativity and critical thinking.

Exploring the unique and varied ecosystems of Tillamook County, discovering the special adaptations that help animals survive, building a working robot, learning the history of rockets then launching one – Tillamook County STEAM Partnership offers programs that help students make connections to the world around them through hands-on experiences. Each field trip or in-class program has been developed to meet Next Generation Science Standards and incorporate crosscutting concepts. Most include a science or engineering investigation. Activities are led by staff, volunteer STEAM Coaches, and high school students from the Natural Resources Programs.

Juntos: women bird survey
Photo: Juntos Afuera

A Grassroots Group Established for Environmental Education

GCHI kids microscope crab
Photo: Garibaldi Cultural Heritage Initiative

In the early 2000s, organizations in Tillamook County increased their efforts to provide outdoor experiences focused on environmental science and stewardship for the community’s students. Since the early days of the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership’s Children’s Clean Water Festival and the Friends of Netarts Bay WEBS’ Second Grade Day at the Bay, partners have worked to help students create a sense of place, increase environmental and STEAM literacy, and create a foundation for a stewardship ethic. Building on those early successes, the TC STEAM Partnership now offers more than 20 programs annually for Tillamook County students.

Formalized in 2019, the TC STEAM Partnership now provides dozens of programs for public, private, and homeschooled students across Tillamook County. To learn more about specific program opportunities, browse the TC STEAM Partners below.

STEAM Partners

Tillamook Estuaries Partnership logo

Tillamook Estuaries Partnership

In 2002, the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership established the annual Children’s Clean Water Festival (CCWF) in Tillamook County. Over the last two decades of this landmark learning event, more than 6,000 fourth-grade students have attended this festival to learn about the importance of clean water across our watersheds.
Rachel Freeman (she/her)
Environmental Education Coordinator
Phone: (503) 322-2222
email icon email (Rachel[at]tbnep[dot]org)
Friends of Netarts Bay WEBS Logo

Friends of Netarts Bay Watershed, Estuary, Beach, & Sea

Friends of Netarts Bay WEBS works closely with the Tillamook School District Natural Resources Program to offer students across Tillamook County the opportunity to discover the natural world by collecting real-world data. The data they collect has been used to improve the environment and gain a better understanding of the region in which they live.
Chrissy Smith
Executive Director
email icon email (Director[at]netartsbaywebs[dot]org)
Tillamook School District logo

Tillamook School District

The Tillamook School District's natural resources program engages students in hands-on place-based learning. The local natural environment and community partnerships are utilized to provide educational opportunities beyond the classroom. Every student has the opportunity to discover the natural world by sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste starting in Kindergarten building each year until they are participating in research starting as young as the third grade and continuing through high school.
Amy Schmid
Natural Resource Coordinator
Phone: (503) 842-2566 ext. 2295
email icon email (schmida[at]tillamook[dot]k12[dot]or[dot]us)
Juntos Afuera logo

Juntos Afuera

Juntos is a program designed for Latinx students and families in Tillamook County. We offer local programming and educational support for high school students, community college, and university students through workshops, family nights, and summer programming.
Nat Macías
Open Campus and Juntos Coordinator
Phone: (503) 842-3433
Phone 2: (503) 676-5279
email icon email (natalie[dot]macias[at]oregonstate[dot]edu)
Tillamook Bay Community College Logo

Tillamook Bay Community College

Are you interested in spending your career outdoors or in a work environment that focuses on the natural environment around you? TBCC has many Associate of Science degree options (i.e., Natural Resources, Forestry, Agricultural Sciences, etc.) that will help you with your next steps. If you have a Master’s degree in Forestry, Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife, Agriculture, and other related degrees, please consider applying as an adjunct instructor. Contact Megan for more information.
Clara Blaser
Success Coach for the Nature and Outdoors Learning Community
Phone: (503) 842-8222 ext 1152
email icon email (clarablaser[at]tillamookbaycc[dot]edu)
Tillamook WORKS logo

Tillamook WORKS

The Tillamook WORKS Program provides local students, ages 16 and up, with professional, paid internships in Tillamook County, with the goals of community building, economic development, promoting local career opportunities, and retaining local talent.
Lauren Yokum
Tillamook WORKS Coordinator
Phone: (503) 815-4470
email icon email (lyokum[at]nwresd[dot]k12[dot]or[dot]us)
sitka logo

Sitka Center for Arts and Ecology

The Sitka Youth Program provides school-based and summer enrichment art and STEAM education for Pre-K – 8th grade kids in schools with limited or no art programs of their own.
Leeauna Perry
Youth Program Manager
Phone: (541) 994-5485
email icon email (leeaunaperry[at]sitkacenter[dot]org)
Historic United States Coast Guard Boathouse logo

Garibaldi Cultural Heritage Initiative

The mission of the Garibaldi Cultural Heritage Initiative (GCHI) is to explore, promote, and enhance the rich cultural heritage and natural history of the Tillamook Bay Region.

We offer hands-on activities related to marine biology and physical oceanography, as well as build underwater remotely operated vehicles (UROV’s). Field trips last two to six hours and generally have four to six different stations related to the topic being investigated. Field trips include a citizen science component where students collect data that help inform management decisions related to Tillamook Bay.
Clair Thomas
Director of Education
Phone: (503) 801-4272
email icon email (Clairothomas56[at]gmail[dot]com)
NW OR STEM Hub logo

NW STEM Hub

The Northwest STEM Hub works to create and elevate science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) opportunities across Tillamook, Columbia, and Clatsop counties. In partnership with PK-12 educators, higher education, community-based organizations, families, and industry, we promote authentic in and out-of-school STEM experiences that ignite students’ passions and interests.
Bianca Valvezan
Project Management Specialist
Phone: (503) 614-1453
email icon email (bvalvezan[at]nwresd[dot]k12[dot]or[dot]us)
Oregon Coast STEM Hub logo

Oregon Coast STEM Hub

The Oregon Coast STEM Hub engages learners with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) by leveraging local and regional resources and collaborating with diverse partners.
Renée Johnson
Oregon Coast STEM Hub Coordinator
Phone: (971) 235-5546
email icon email (Renee[dot]johnson[at]oregonstate[dot]edu)
Tillamook County Pioneer Museum logo

Pioneer Museum

The Tillamook County Pioneer Museum is committed to interpreting and preserving the environmental and cultural histories of the North Oregon Coast by providing non-traditional learning opportunities, for all ages, in the 1905 Courthouse and Kilchis Point Reserve.
Jenny Teece (she/her)
Exhibit & Program Developer
Phone: (503) 842-4553
email icon email (jenny[at]tcpm[dot]org)
Lower Nehalem Community Trust logo

Lower Nehalem Community Trust

Our properties feature upland forest, wetland, and estuary frontage, as well as a former dairy farm under restoration that includes an interpretive ethnobotanical trail, a two-acre community garden, an orchard, a wildlife reserve frequented by elk, and a stream that supports beaver, salmon, and otter. Our staff and volunteers host school and other student groups for environmental education activities on the land, gardening, and stewardship projects.
Emily Akdedian
Education & Outreach Coordinator
Phone: (503) 368-3203
email icon email (emilyakdedian[at]nehalemtrust[dot]org)

Become a STEAM Coach + Volunteer!

In order to offer dozens of these enriching programs for hundreds of students, the TC STEAM Partnership needs volunteer STEAM Coaches to fulfill a variety of roles. STEAM Coaches are people who believe all students should be able to learn about STEAM subjects through educational experiences that are hands-on and inquiry-based. Whether you volunteer for one day a year or enjoy volunteering on numerous programs, there are several ways for you to get involved. Sign up for our next STEAM Coach Training and view our Volunteer Page for more information.

Volunteer