Step inside a STEAM center — this new crop of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math spaces are designed with young minds in mind.

By Rachel Chang
Photographs by William Mebane

Grant Cox (left) and Kai Clunis (right) with instructor Sakhi Patel.

The familiar soundtrack of hide-and-seek fills the air. “She’ll never find me — I’m hiding so well!” shouts Kai Clunis, prompting giggles and yelps. But this game has a twist. The 11-year-old isn’t dodging classmates on a school playground. She’s hiding in cyberspace, in a hole that she dug via programming on ­Minecraft.

It’s a Friday afternoon at Zaniac, a STEAM-based (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) learning center for kindergartners through eighth graders in Jersey City, New Jersey, and Clunis is gearing up for an afternoon of educational enrichment classes disguised as…


Photo by Perry Grone on Unsplash

As the dust and dollar signs from Black Friday and Cyber Monday settle, the little engine that could, Giving Tuesday, chugs along — tugging on your purse strings in just the same way as its predecessors. But this time, the payback is so much more impactful. After all, it’s all about donating to the causes that you believe in the most.

While inboxes fill with clever subject lines from every nonprofit and charity you’ve remotely come in contact with (thanks, targeted e-mail marketing), the strategy for Giving Tuesday is just as essential as the commercial holidays — focus on what…


A solo trip to Bermuda showed me that I didn’t need to completely conquer the sea in order to discover new depths.

Illustrations by Ryan Johnson

It’s ironic that I was born a Pisces: I’ve never been comfortable in open water, I get seasick, and I’m petrified of fish. When I was in first grade, I’d check to make sure a goldfish hadn’t sneaked into my sandwich. During a family trip, I ran from an Oahu beach screaming when I saw that I was surrounded by schools of fish. Nowadays, I weasel my way out of beach getaways — and have had friends go through magazines and use Post-its to cover up fish photos before I read them. …


Across the globe, some of our most beautiful and culturally unique places are under threat due to climate change and other impacts of human behavior. Which is why it’s more important than ever to be a mindful traveler.

A cruise ship crosses the Port of Venice alarmingly close to Piazza San Marco.

The world has become more accessible than ever. Countries that felt dis-
tant, such as Bhutan and Morocco, now top bucket lists, thanks to Instagram popularity and affordable direct flights. But a spike in travelers (the 1.3 billion international tourists in 2017 is predicted to surpass 1.8 billion by 2030), along with the effects of climate change, overdevelopment, and pollution, are harming our planet in ways we never imagined — and the
whitewashed reefs, receding glaciers, and plastic-littered beaches are proof.

While the future of the planet may feel bleak, the solutions lie in all of our hands. “One step…


While traveling solo in Finland, feeling both ill and ill-prepared led one writer on a journey to uncover the smaller delights of its culture.

Illustrations by Ryan Johnson

I forced my eyes open, blankly stared at the ceiling, and groaned. This was not good. I had just arrived in Helsinki mere hours ago and the thought of even moving an inch was painful. All I wanted to do was melt into the bed, completely ossified. I had chills, but I was also sweating. My head was spinning and my throat was burning … and I was very much alone.

I’ve traveled solo extensively around the globe — from the Galapagos and Patagonia to Morocco and Romania — and I thought I had gotten it…


Spoiler alert: the Sound of Music is based on a real family who traded the Austrian Alps in for American slopes. Follow their footsteps on a weekend trip to Stowe, Vermont.

Photographs by Kyoko Hamada

The Trapp Family Lodge all aglow and covered in snow.

As the 1965 Oscar-winning best picture The Sound of Music fades out, the triumphant ending shows the von Trapps escaping Nazi-occupied Austria by crossing the Alps into the safe haven of Switzerland. But in 1938, the real family simply crossed the street and boarded a train. While there was fear that they wouldn’t be allowed out of the country, the refugees were fortunate. …


During this season of giving, there is still room to help Puerto Ricans recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria.

Photographs by Ian Allen
Illustrations by Grace Hemler; map by Holly Wales

IN SEPTEMBER 2017, Category 4 Hurricane Maria leveled 70,000 homes and 80 percent of Puerto Rico’s utility poles. For a community mired in a 12-year recession, it was a devastating blow. In the nine days following the storm, the federal government spent $6 million on the territory’s recovery, in stark contrast to its response to Hurricane Harvey, weeks earlier, when $142 million was put toward the Houston area.

Now, over a year later, the island continues to struggle, but locals are embracing visitors — and your vacation can…


I was one of the tens of thousands of people who ran for their lives at the Global Citizen Festival in New York City’s Central Park on Saturday

Cardi B perfomed at the Global Citizen Festival in New York City’s Central Park on September 29, 2018.

All I remember is the silence. The eerie hollowness of tens of thousands of people running toward me in the dark, as I stood stunned and confused.

At the Global Citizen Festival concert in New York City last Saturday, a mass stampede of reportedly 60,000 people —including me — barreled out of Central Park after a bottle popped, causing a sound some mistook for gunshots.

I didn’t hear the sound. I didn’t…


One voice lost in a hundred can prove to have quite some resonance, as I discovered while singing in Lincoln Center’s debut of “In the Name of the Earth”

Winds and waves: The megaphones were just one of our tools for John Luther Adams’ “In the Name of the Earth.”

First and foremost, I am not a singer.

Yes, my mom put me in voice lessons in high school, I sang in chorus in college at UCLA, and, for the last 14 years, I’ve been an alto in Cantigas Women’s Choir in Hoboken, NJ.

Whenever anyone finds out I’m in a choir, the first thing they say is: “Sing!” …


Yes, we all have a “Crazy Rich Asians” story. Yes, they all need to be told. And no, they don’t all look the same.

A Rachel who grew up in the Bay Area, lives in New York, and has Taiwanese roots? Quite literally, Crazy Rich Asians might as well be about me (well, minus the perfect Prince Harry-like boyfriend, but I’m open to that too).

When I read Kevin Kwan’s book, I felt like I was reading a novel a friend wrote. After all, I’d never seen terms like “Taiwanese” or “stinky tofu” in print until now. Every time I closed the book, I looked at the words “National Bestseller” and the little gold sticker “Soon to be a Major Motion Picture” on the…

Rachel Chang

Fueled by wanderlust, fulfilled by adventure. Travel, entertainment and lifestyle writer and editor. Alum of Us Weekly, J-14, CosmoGIRL!, The WB.

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