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Published Monday October 11, 2021

SARSEF Programs Teach Critical Thinking

October 11, 2021 – Scientists have taken center stage in the news during the COVID-19 pandemic as they work to inform the community about the SARS-CoV-2 virus, find innovative solutions to treat infected individuals and work tirelessly on a vaccine to prevent further spread. For school-aged children who are inspired by the work that these physicians, researchers and engineers are doing and wish that they too could be a part of the solution, it can sometimes seem that reaching that level of expertise is a long ways away for them. That’s why SARSEF is working with parents, teachers and students to help cultivate the skills necessary to think like a scientist early-on in their schooling.

Since 1955, SARSEF has worked to engage with students and help them develop critical thinking and problem solving skills that will be useful for them in any career that they choose. Through free educational programs, SARSEF encourages students in PreK through high school to be curious, start asking questions and use science and engineering to find solutions that are meaningful to them.

“The important role that science plays in our day-to-day life is apparent now more than ever, and our programs are designed to encourage scientific curiosity at a young age,” said Julie Euber, CEO at SARSEF. “We want students to know that it’s never too early to make a contribution to society and we equip them with the problem solving skills they need to get started. As teachers welcome their students back to the classroom after a year of distance learning, this is a great way for them to engage students through hands-on learning.”

SARSEF programs include:

  • What Do We Wonder: a multiple-session experience (the length of which being determined by your class needs) that guides PreK through high school students and teachers from beginning to end of a research project using scientific practices and age-appropriate hands-on activities. The program includes a consultation with a SARSEF educator to tailor the experience to the teacher or school’s needs.
  • Roadmap to a Rockin’ Project: a 1.5 hour parent/student workshop that aligns with the What Do We Wonder Program to help identify potential project topics and gain an understanding of scientific and engineering practices.
  • Teacher Professional Development: a guide for PreK through 8th grade teachers where Arizona science standards, and science and engineering practices are discussed to enhance student learning.
  • Racing the Sun: an engineering program that encourages high school students to design, build and race solar-powered go-karts. Fees for supplies are not included, fundraising workshops available.

Visit to learn more about the programs and to sign up.

Julie Euber