STEM Studio Offers Wigwam Challenge

Reproduction of a typical Woodland wigwam.
Reproduction of a typical Woodland wigwam. (submitted)


Youngsters with the Waccamaw Siouan tribe have the opportunity to tap into some architectural skills for a chance to win some big prizes. 

The Waccamaw Siouan STEM Studio is hosting the Wigwam Challenge. The project will challenges kids to build a one foot by one foot wigwam out of natural materials, just as their ancestors did. 

Wigwams were home structures built by the Woodland tribes, including the Waccamaw Siouan, and were constructed out of things like trees, bark, and rope woven by hand out of long grasses.  

Each child will be sent a kit and have three weeks to complete their structure, then turn in at the tribal grounds. Wigwams will be put to the test against simulated natural disasters and judged by representatives from native-owned construction businesses.  

The wigwams will be reconstructed after the simulations and brought together for display. 

“The village that will be displayed is symbolic,” said STEM Studio Founder Ashley Lomboy. “We are the village. A tribe comes together to support each other.”    

A $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to contestants in elementary, middle, and high school levels. Other prizes will include an iPad, cash prizes, and STEM kits.   

There are a few qualifications to participate in the challenge. Children must school-aged (grades K-12) and must be a member of the Waccamaw Siouan tribe. Each applicant must submit the online registration form that can be found by visiting The deadline to register is Jan. 31. 

Finally, the completed wigwam and required forms must be turned into the Waccamaw Siouan tribal grounds by Feb. 26 at 10 a.m. at the tribal office.  

If you have any questions about the contest, email [email protected] or visit