Virtual STEAM expo held for underprivileged students in greater D.C. area


RESTON, Va. (WDVM) — A virtual STEAM expo was held for over 100 students in the greater D.C. area on Saturday.

Reston-based technology firm Octo held a series of live interactive activities and experiments for students in the STEAM field, which focuses on math, science, engineering and technology.

Octo sent a no-cost custom kit of materials to each participant’s home, so that they could follow along with the virtual instruction.

“The main driver for the kits is to make sure that every kid who registered would be able to participate,” said Andrea Heithoff, Senior Manager for Octo. “We weren’t putting a financial burden in front of them.”

Octo staff say that their goal is to help reach children of lesser means, who could potentially be future leaders in the STEAM field.

“We work in an industry where we’re working towards increasing diversity in this industry,” said Vanessa Davis, Manager, Employee Engagement at Octo. “We’re bringing different perspectives to the table for the folks who are developing solutions for the government in the future.”

Expanding beyond just the D.C. area, Octo has been able to send kits to students nationally to participate in virtual STEAM classes.

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