Williamston Community Schools is a leading school district in STEAM education and using technology in the classroom

While strolling the halls of Williamston Explorer Elementary in Williamston, students’ artwork lines the walls, backpacks and coats litter the floor and muffled discussion about this or that can be heard outside nearly every classroom. Unlike other elementary schools however, Williamston Explorer Elementary is in the works of producing the next crop of engineers, researchers, scientists and the like. After receiving three grants this past year, including $130,000 from Dart Container Company in Mason, Williamston Community Schools has invested the money into the K-12 district STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) initiative it launched this year. The initiative will take place in a series of phases. “This year was phase one, which was the creation of a K-5 STEAM lab for both of our elementary schools,” said superintendent Dr. Adam Spina. 

STEAM teacher Sean Ferguson teaches 31 STEAM classes every week, with students ranging from young 5s to fifth grade.

In Williamston, running a business, being a mother is a juggling act

The house at 5108 Barton Road in Williamston looks like any other house. There are trees out front, a few cars parked in the driveway and a garage door wide open, giving people a glimpse of the backyard. All seems normal until the sound of dogs, chickens and alpacas fill the air. Yes, alpacas. In the backyard of this home lies Circle 6 Alpacas, a fiber production farm that houses 30 alpacas, one goat, three horses, two dogs, five cats and 10 chickens.

Williamston’s 304 River Edge Lofts has 17 apartments ready for lease

It’s not hard to find 304 River Edge Lofts while strolling through downtown Williamston. The four-story brick building stands out in the mix of old-fashioned buildings because of its newness and modern aesthetic. The apartment complex was built last summer and opened in October 2017. With 30 apartments, 17 are sitting empty. With one-bedroom floor plans for $1,250 a month and two-bedroom floor plans for $1,510 a month, property manager Katelyn Franklin said this has some residents concerned.

The Bunkhouse opens in Williamston

It’s been busy inside the bright teal building at 118 W. Grand River Ave. in downtown Williamston. The building now occupies The Bunkhouse, which opened on Feb. 16 and was founded by 141 Design Company owners Chantelle and Brian Deimling. “The Bunkhouse is where paint classes are held and it’s also a fun little store,” co-owner Chantelle Deimling said.

Fireworks Glass Studios is heating up Williamston

With the frigid temperatures and snow-covered streets, one might step inside Williamston’s Fireworks Glass Studios out of curiosity, or to warm up. When they first walk inside, they will still feel the cold wind outside because the studio leaves the front door propped open. When they walk deeper into the studio, the temperature increases and they might even break a sweat. Lining the counter are dozens of hand-crafted glass art. Behind the counter are the people and machines that make them.

141 Design Company creates custom furniture and makes people feel welcome

One must bypass a bright red door before they can step inside 141 Design Company in Williamston. Once inside, they will be surrounded by vibrant furniture that has lived a life of its own. Unlike traditional furniture produced by the masses every day, 141 Design Company creates custom furniture from salvaged wood for anyone who desires it. “We’d like to consider them heirloom pieces,” said co-owner Chantelle Deimling. “These aren’t pieces that you sell in a garage sale in two years; these are pieces that become functional in your home—they’re art.”

141 Design Company opened in September 2016.