Nine afterschool programs around the state will each receive a $1500 STEM grant from the Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence and Cox Communications to support creative efforts to incorporate science, technology, engineering and math into today’s curriculum.
“At a time of shrinking funding in schools across the state, these grants emphasize the critical importance of using an informal STEM approach to curriculum in afterschool and out-of-school-time programs because they remain one of the few opportunities for youth to engage in projects incorporating science, technology, engineering and math,” said Melanie McClintock, Executive Director, Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence. “The quality of the proposals we received from around the state made the decisions incredibly difficult, but also pointed to the remarkable quality of afterschool programs developed and operating across the state.”
Proposals were submitted from urban, rural, suburban and charter schools across the state as well as from community-based afterschool programs.
Afterschool “All-Stars” Program, Ira A. Murphy School, Peoria: To purchase iPads for junior high student-led program for students to report, edit and broadcast video morning announcements to the school.
Computer 360 Start to Finish, Introduction to Computer Drafting and Design, Boys & Girls Club of Northern Arizona, Cottonwood: For implementation of computer technology curriculum teaching youth about basic hardware and software components needed to construct a computer system, basic functionality and operational maintenance.
Gilbert Public Schools, VIK Club, Incorporating Digital Photography into 6 VIK Club sites, Gilbert: Funds will support efforts to increase creative hands-on art projects; enhance and expand children’s passion for books, reading and imagination; and inspire and develop passion for photography as an art form.
Girls Scouts of Southern Arizona, Launch of Gamma Sigma Club, Tucson: To purchase iPads for junior high and high school girls to use current apps to plan their engineering projects, integrate 3-D graphics, spreadsheets, charges and presentations.
JAG Afterschool Program, Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates, Gila Bend, LaJoya, Sierra Linda, Tolleson and Westview High Schools: To help students develop career and college plans and deepen their connection to their school and community through the purchase if iPads for students to use in researching, planning, conducting, editing and producing a series of video interviews with passionate professionals in STEM related careers.
Show Me Light, Tucson Parks and Recreation KIDCO Programs, Tucson: To explore the science of light from a totally different perspective which would end up creating a laser music show as the final product.
Lego Robotic Club, Magnet Traditional School, Phoenix: To establish a Lego Robotics Club to expose students to STEM in an informal learning setting.
Spartans Science Club, Northland Preparatory, Flagstaff: To expand STEM projects to include robotics and allow students to identify problems they want to try to solve, design, build, program, troubleshoot and execute by purchasing Lego Education NXT Mindstorm kits.
SPOT 127, KJZZ’s Youth Media Center, Phoenix: To engage youth in project-based activities that build foundational skills in radio and broadcast journalism, music and video production, sound design, media literacy, web design, graphic arts, and social media.
Winners were selected based on their innovative use of science and technology in an informal learning setting, the involvement of students in designing many of the projects and the maximum utilization of the limited dollars available.