1,000 Future Scientists to Invade Pima Community College – Northwest Campus
Gr. 4-8 Students to attend the Arizona STEM Adventure: A Day of Exploring Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math
(November 13, 2015, Tucson) More than 1,000 students from 58 classes (Grades 4-8), 31 schools from a wide range of districts (Amphi, Flowing Wells, TUSD, Tanque Verde, Continental, Baboquivari, Oracle, Whiteriver, Catalina Foothills, Marana, Pima, Indian Oasis, AZ Deaf and Blind, Private Schools, Home Schools, and Charter Schools), and 9 cities/towns (Oro Valley, Continental, Baboquivari, the Tohono O’dham Nation, Sells, Oracle, Marana, Tucson, and Pima) were invited to explore what area of science ignites their passion at the Arizona STEM Adventure Friday, November 13, at the Pima Community College – Northwest Campus.
Students explored chemistry through Silly Putty, learned physics by riding a hovercraft, built rockets that the design principles of engineering, appreciated the delicate balance the natural world, experienced wildlife, and gazed at the stars. Each of these experiences introduced students to an area of science that might spark their interest for the future.
Teachers: The Arizona STEM Adventure included a learning component for teachers. Professional Development was provided for two-hours during this day, focusing on the importance of inquiry based learning, how to integrate science standards into their busy day, and demonstrating how to use the $100 of equipment they were provided for their classrooms.
Exhibitors: The Arizona STEM Adventure had more than 60 scientists, engineers, professionals and experts in their fields, sharing their time, knowledge and personal passion for their chosen career with the students for this event. Workshops and activities spanned across the Northwest Campus, both indoors and outdoors.
Volunteers: More than 176 Pima Community College students, staff, faculty, and administrators, as well as community representatives from the sponsoring organizations assisted with the event.
The Arizona STEM Adventure is one of SARSEF’s (Southern Arizona Research, Science and Engineering Foundation) primary programs. Sponsoring organizations include IBM, Raytheon, Pima Community College – Northwest Campus, Office of Pima County School Superintendent’s StemAZing Project, UA Stem Learning Center, and Agents of Stem.
Dr. Kathleen Bethel, CEO for SARSEF, stated there is a critical need to find and develop and area of interest for students through programs like the Arizona STEM Adventure, “The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts STEM related jobs in the US to increase by more than 500,000 by 2016. The future of the United States as a major innovator is dependent upon the skills of STEM educated citizens. This is no less true in Southern Arizona.”
“Unfortunately, due to the emphasis on testing, too many students are no longer receiving problem-solving experience in the areas required by future employers. The Arizona Department of Education’s latest reports show that more than 30% of its elementary students have not yet mastered the most basic standards for Math and less than 54% for Science. Short-term, programs like the Arizona STEM Adventure gives students a reason to think how their learning extends beyond the basic standards. Long-term, we help to ensure a workforce and a citizenry capable of making decisions in a dynamic environment.”
History: The Arizona STEM Adventure was previously known as the Math, Science and Technology “FunFest”, and was held at the Tucson Convention Center each November until 2014, when it was renamed as it moved to a new location and included Professional Development for teachers.)
Kathleen A Bethel,
CEO SARSEF (Southern Arizona Research, Science and Engineering Foundation)
SARSEF was formed in 1955, in an effort to increase student interest in the field of science. The mission of SARSEF, the Southern Arizona Research, Science and Engineering Foundation, is to teach Southern Arizona’s K-12 critical thinking and problem-solving skills as they participate in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) through inquiry-based learning and research.
SARSEF accomplishes this mission through five programs: SARSEF Research Fair Week; Educational Outreach Program to underrepresented populations (females and minorities) in areas of poverty, Imagine STEM Mentoring for High School girls, ACES Camp for Middle School girls, Mad Science after-school programs, and Arizona STEM Adventure for 1,000 Gr. 4- 8 students with Professional Development provided for their teachers.
Over 795 professionals in the community volunteer for SARSEF each year, and 145 organizations support its programs, financially.