Great Lakes Bay Region STEM Ecosystem to Host Holiday STEM Staycation Partnership with Go Great Lakes Bay and the Mt. Pleasant CVB

A STEM-based adventure is kicking off soon in the Great Lakes Bay Region for the holiday season, aimed at getting families and kids engaged in local out-of-school-time learning activities during the break from school. Organized by the Great Lakes Bay Region STEM Pipeline in collaboration with Go Great Lakes Bay Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Mt. Pleasant CVB, this is a dynamic resource for parents, teachers and caregivers to access information about STEM-based activities
and events in the region during the holiday break.

The Great Lakes Bay Region Holiday STEM Passport Staycation starts on December 21 and runs until January 2. There will be prizes available for visiting and posting a photo at any of the 30 participating organizations on the STEM Passport.

In addition, there will be three opportunities this season for free entry on the following dates:

  • December 21: Chippewa Nature Center Winter Solstice Event For centuries, people have gathered to recognize the longest night of the year and to celebrate the return of longer days to come. Take part in earth-friendly traditions as you roll a beeswax candle, create a miniature Yule log and make a small evergreen wreath. Event runs 6:00-8:00 p.m. and is free for all ages.
  • December 27: Alice and Jack Wirt Public Library Build Play Build together, family fun! What will you create with open-ended interactive building materials? Blue Blocks, Fort Build, Kinex, and more material for you to BUILD with. No Registration Required. Open to children and tweens accompanied by an adult. 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. in the Kantzler Community Room.
  • December 28: Winter STEM Event Delta College PBS Kids and the Michigan Learning Channel will host hands-on winter and snow science activities at the Castle Museum. The event runs 11:00-1:00 p.m. and is free for all ages. Also, coinciding with the traveling exhibit “Signs of the Times: The Great American Political Poster 1844-2012,” the Castle Museum will have a drop-in make-and-take station called See How You Run: Design a Personal Political Poster available throughout winter break.

“Children learn best through authentic experiences, which becomes all the more meaningful with a supportive caregiver by their side. Everybody wins when families prioritize high-quality, engaging experiences, and there are so many wonderful resources in our region for families to connect with,” said Jenn Kirts, director of Programs at Chippewa Nature Center, a STEM Passport location. “Chippewa Nature Center’s Winter Solstice Celebration is one of the free events featured this year with hands-on
activities designed to appreciate nature and engage participants both young and old as we celebrate the shortest day of the year with the return of light.”

Prizes for the holiday round of the STEM Staycation will include:

  • First Place: A complimentary overnight stay in the Great Lakes Bay Region Community of your choosing; Bay City, Birch Run, Chesaning, Frankenmuth, Midland or Saginaw (restrictions apply)
  • Second Place: A $50 gift card to Pisanello’s Pizza in Mt. Pleasant
  • Third Place: Four (4) tickets to the Saginaw Spirit

“Family engagement in a child’s education is critical to building the foundation for lifelong learning. The Great Lakes Bay Region STEM Passport is intended to support families with community-based resources by connecting to organizations that offer STEM learning activities for children,” said Rich Van Tol, the Out-of-School Time Network lead for the Great Lakes Bay Region STEM Ecosystem. “We hope that families will enjoy the STEM Passport this holiday season and take the opportunity to check out a free
event and explore the incredible array of rich learning experiences available across our region.”

To participate and be eligible for prizes, participants must visit a free event or passport location listed below, post a picture on Facebook (marked as public visibility), and tag STEM Pipeline (@STEMPipeline) to be counted. Some locations may not have events over the holiday break, so visit the calendar on for current events.

The STEM Passport includes activities at the following locations:

  • Arenac Community Center, Standish
  • Bay City State Recreation Area, Bay City
  • Bay County Library System:
    o Alice and Jack Wirt Public Library, Bay City
    o Auburn Area Branch Library, Auburn
    o Pinconning Branch Library, Pinconning
    o Historical Sage Library, Bay City
    o Bookmobile & Outreach Services
  • The Historical Museum of Bay County, Bay City
  • Beal City Public Schools
  • Beaverton Activity Center, Gladwin
  • Castle Museum of Saginaw County, Saginaw
  • Chippewa Nature Center, Midland
  • Clare-Gladwin RESD SPARKS after school program
  • CMU Center for Excellence in STEM Education, Mt. Pleasant
  • Delta College Planetarium, Bay City
  • Delta Kids / Michigan Learning Channel
  • Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational STEM Center, Midland (seasonal)
  • Forest Hills Nature Center, Alma
  • Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum, Saginaw
  • Midland Center for the Arts, Midland
  • Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum, Saginaw
  • MSU St. Andrews STEAM – STEAM Education & Research Center, Midland
  • Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum, Mt. Pleasant
  • Saginaw Children’s Zoo, Saginaw
  • Saginaw ISD – Hartley Outdoor Education Center, St. Charles
  • Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge / Green Point Nature Center, Saginaw
  • Saginaw STEM
  • STEM@SVSU, Saginaw
  • T.A. Cutler Memorial Library, St. Louis
  • YMCA Camp Timbers, Saginaw/West Branch