Contact: Teri Walker, DRA Communications
Arizona STEM Network Surpasses 1,000 Member Mark
Connecting educators and industry statewide in online community
PHOENIX (July 15, 2015) – Less than one year after launching, the Arizona STEM Network led by Science Foundation Arizona has welcomed its 1,000th member to the free online collaboration platform that connects businesses, educators, government and philanthropy professionals across the state; provides STEM resources and professional development for teachers; and helps educators and industry collaborate, all with the aim of better preparing Arizona students to participate in the new global economy.
Science coach Vicki Massey with the Higley Unified School District was the 1,000th person to join the Network, increasing the ranks of members from Arizona, 16 other states and four countries to take advantage of the opportunity to connect with others committed to preparing students and graduates for careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields.
“The ever increasing membership of the Arizona STEM Network is a testament to what an invaluable resource this online community is for educators, companies and leaders who recognize that for Arizona to be competitive on the global stage, we need to create a STEM-savvy workforce,” said Science Foundation Arizona Director of Education Linda Coyle.
Coyle worked with Arizona educators at all levels and other SFAz staff to develop and evaluate STEM resources and content for the Network. Science Foundation Arizona Senior Information and Operations Manager Derek Richae was the Network architect. The Arizona STEM Network was launched in August of 2014 with major funding from Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold Foundation and the Helios Education Foundation.
Arizona STEM Network members may participate in online forums, collaborate in virtual groups, share STEM events and news, and interact with the numerous resource guides that are available to help educators develop STEM curricula, clubs and programs in schools and classrooms. Members can access professional development tools and outreach and partnership information, submit calendar events, create their own group forums, and share ideas and curriculum resources that have worked in their own classrooms and school districts. Philanthropy members can maximize donations by identifying high impact programs and activities with proven track records of returns on investment, and leveraging resources available through the Network.
The “Business Advocate” page on the Network helps businesses connect with educators to identify how schools and industries can better work together to prepare students for the jobs local companies need to fill. Through the Network, businesses can select how they want to engage with Arizona schools through internships, field trips, tours, STEM Club development and classroom presentations.
Science Foundation Arizona is expanding the STEM Network further to include statewide STEM data and analytics; a Women in STEM section and Hispanic outreach resources to encourage greater diversity in STEM participation; and resources to aid parents and students who are seeking help to better prepare for STEM careers. For instance, students will be able to identify companies offering internships and shadowing opportunities, or programs that help increase competencies in STEM subjects.
“Though less than a year old, the Arizona STEM Network is already a sought after model that is being emulated in other states,” said President and CEO of Science Foundation Arizona William Harris. “We are connecting remote rural regions, inner cities, educators, students, policy makers and philanthropists in a common cause: helping our students and our state achieve the highest aims of STEM education and career readiness.”
For being the 1000th Network member, Massey will receive free registration to the National STEM Conference, “Integrate to Innovate”, which Science Foundation Arizona is co-hosting at the Phoenix Convention Center January 22 – 23, 2016.
For more information or to apply to join the Arizona STEM Network, visit stem.sfaz.org or call (602) 682-2800.
About Science Foundation Arizona
Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization initiated in 2006 by the Greater Phoenix Leadership Inc., Southern Arizona Leadership Council and the Flagstaff Forty in conjunction with the executive and legislative branches of State government. SFAz serves as a catalyst for high-wage, knowledge-based jobs and economic diversity through administration and strict oversight of research, development and education grants to public education and other non-profit research performing institutions. For more information, visit www.sfaz.org and like us on Facebook.