Student STEM Club gets real world experience

Seattle - Lease Crutcher Lewis (Lewis) employees are partnering with biology teacher Lee Ann Love on a pilot program for the student STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) club at Lincoln High School in Tacoma. The program consists of six weekly modules that revolve around the construction and engineering elements of Lewis' major renovation of Lincoln High School, which was completed in 2007.

Together, students and Lewis engineers, led by company president Gary Smith, work on real-world problems where mathematics and engineering are keys to the solution. The six week program will help students understand the complexity of systems and the interrelationship of all engineering disciplines. It includes a special focus on structural, mechanical, and electrical systems and how using Building Information Modeling (BIM) can help resolve conflicts before construction even starts. BIM is the new generation design and construction tool, integrating extensive visualization and data. By linking students with STEM professionals and real-world learning experiences, the club aims to heighten awareness and deepen student understanding of how engineering and math are applied to our everyday lives and inspire students to pursue academic programs in these fields. 

When asked what they had learned, one student replied, “I learned that math is a huge part of making a building. It is not just designing.” The club is also exposing kids to STEM role models and new careers.  “I learned about new things that make me want to be an engineer when I grow up,” said one student. Another said, “I enjoy working and learning about things and HOW they work.”

Lewis has also been a strong financial supporter of Washington STEM, pledging of $125,000 over two years to support the statewide education organization focused on spurring innovation in effective science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teaching and learning. CEO Bill Lewis is on Washington STEM’s board of directors. 

“A robust STEM education is a passport to opportunity for all young people,” said Julia Novy-Hildesley, CEO of Washington STEM. “Lease Crutcher Lewis is helping realize our vision of 21st century STEM learning. By partnering with students and teachers to co-design and implement authentic STEM experiences, they are showing how businesses can infuse the joy of STEM learning in our schools in a way that is meaningful for all involved.

About Our Firm
Lease Crutcher Lewis (Lewis) has been a leading Northwest general contractor since 1886, and has been based in Seattle since 1939. It is active in numerous project types, including biotech, medical, office, education, retail, hotel, historic renovation, and others. Lewis is known for taking an integrated approach to working with customers and design partners, a focus on lean construction, and performing a large percentage of its work with its own craftspeople.

About Washington STEM
Washington STEM is a nonprofit venture fund for innovation, equity, and excellence in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. The organization was founded with the mission to mobilize new partnerships to advocate for and implement practices and policies that improve STEM learning outcomes, create pathways for student success in STEM careers, and prepare all students to succeed in today’s knowledge-rich society. Learn more at or join the conversation on Facebook.