Thingamajig: Changing a Child’s “What Ifs” into “I Did That!”
Support the YMCA THINGAMAJIG® Invention Convention, one of the largest local STEM-based events for youth
By YMCA of Metropolitan Washington on June 28, 2019
Twenty-five years ago, what started as a small science camp celebration with just 140 children has exploded into a multi-state STEM experience for more than 5,000 kids in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. The YMCA THINGAMAJIG® Invention Convention is one of the largest local STEM-based events for youth in the area.
The YMCA of Metropolitan Washington has supported STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education through the encouragement and development of critical thinking skills, design technology, and environmental appreciation. Long before STEM became an industry focus, the Y, along with its partners, has delivered a STEM-rich curriculum of informal science to children, ages 5-14, through our out-of-school time programs.
The 25th Annual YMCA Thingamajig® Invention Convention
This year’s event promises to challenge, motivate, and amaze the young minds of all the youth involved. Thingamajig is about education, charity, and equity; which is why attendance has always been free to all children in Metropolitan Washington and those enrolled in YMCA day camps. Thingamajig is a critical bridge between summer and the school year that fosters and sustains excitement for STEM exploration. Children participate in experiments and present inventions that solve practical everyday problems, using only recycled materials and spending no more than $20.
The Inventor Behind the Invention
In 1994, Janice Williams, Senior Vice President of Program Development at the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington, created Thingamajig as a way for a small group of children to demonstrate what they had learned as part of a science and technology camp. Williams continues to be the force behind Thingamajig, which now reaches more than 25,000 kids nationwide. She strives to ensure that Thingamajig is a cutting-edge event that provides youngsters with new challenges and learning experiences complete with workshops, fitness challenges, cooking classes, and more. It’s been such a successful model that nearly 20 YMCA’s across the country have adopted the event.
STEM is Ubiquitous
It shapes our day-to-day experiences and is designing our future. STEM projects open the doors to strategic thinking, creative expression, and promising careers. By supporting THINGAMAJIG, you are helping to inspire local children, many of whom have few opportunities for self-discovery. Summer learning loss is a growing concern among parents and educators and has drastically widen the achievement gap for some students. Through hands-on learning and creativity, Thingamajig® combats summer learning loss, and promotes educational discovery.
THINGAMAJIG will be held on Thursday, July 25 from 9:00 a.m. -3:00 p.m. at the Prince George’s County Equestrian Center. Click here to learn more about how you can support this year’s Thingamajig activities and make a difference in a local child’s life.
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