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An Unfortunate Ending

February 19, 2024


The TL;DR version: For financial reasons, we have to stop publication of beanz magazine in print with the February 2024 issue and online after publication of the April 2024 issue. On or soon after April 1st, we will provide online access to our 70 back issues and 1200+ STEM/STEAM articles for all active subscribers. Unfortunately, our financial situation prevents us from offering refunds.

Since August 2013, we’ve published a STEM/STEAM magazine for kids ages 8-12+. We’ve published 70 issues (53 in print) and over 1200 articles. On this journey, we survived Covid and discovered the true value of the magazine: the print version is an ideal way to help under resourced kids become digitally literate. Unlike a STEM class, every copy is owned by a kid and available to read any time anywhere. And many of our articles do not require internet access or a computer. We’ve donated 8000+ copies to Title 1 schools and kids who show up at food banks, homeless shelters, and battered women’s shelters.

It was the ability to make a positive difference in the lives of these kids that prompted us to become a nonprofit in October 2022. What we discovered the hard way is that funding a nonprofit takes far longer than expected. As a result, in 2023 I had to donate $45,000+ to cover print, mail, and other expenses. On top of contributing that amount the four prior years as we tried to grow our subscription base. On top of SBA loans to help get through Covid.

This has put us in a difficult situation in 2024. I’ve already contributed the maximum amount I have available this year. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to cover print and mail expenses for the April 2024 issue. As a result, the February 2024 issue has to be our last print issue. And for the last two issues we have in the works, I will scrape together money to pay writers and editors over the next six months. The April 2024 and June 2024 issues will be online only.

I also should mention that, while all our writers, editors, and designers have been paid market rates, I’ve never been paid by the magazine. I’ve contributed financially because I believe kids need a general interest computing magazine if they want to grow up knowing how to think about and work with technology. Plus there’s lots of neat ways technology can make the world a better place. The more kids know, the more they can use technology to help their communities. This is especially true for under resourced kids.

Because of the financial situation I’ve described, unfortunately refunds are not possible. Hopefully access to our 70 back issues and 1200 plus articles will help provide some value for any unfilled subscriptions.

After 11 years, I also need time off from the daily financial stress of publishing the magazine. I plan to look into how we might repurpose our content with weekly emails as the main delivery method, our website articles as a resource, and possibly an online community. The goal would be the same as the magazine: to meet the STEM/STEAM information needs of kids, parents, teachers, and librarians. If that happens, our current subscribers would be able to participate for free for the length of their current subscription.

Thank you for your support so far. And my apologies for this outcome. It wasn’t for lack of trying or callousness. That we survived 11 years is amazing. That we have to shut down is deeply unfortunate: the need to help kids become digitally literate is still out there.

Tim Slavin
Founder and Publisher