Arizona STEM Adventure to Go Virtual, Increasing Participation

Every November, 1,000 fourth through eighth-grade students participate in Arizona STEM Adventure at the Pima Community College Campus. This year, the event will be a week-long virtual adventure that will include hands-on opportunities for students and professional development for their teachers.

Due to the move to a virtual platform, Arizona STEM Adventure will be even bigger than before, with over 1,800 students selected to participate. Fifty teachers will attend professional development focused on integrating engineering concepts in their classrooms and will walk away with a bag of classroom supplies worth $200.

Every student selected to participate will also receive the supplies needed to complete 12 hands-on activities that teach concepts in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

“We want to ensure every STEM Adventure student has access to the materials and guidance they need to make science not only exciting, but hands-on,” Liz Bowman, CEO of SARSEF, shared. “This has taken tremendous volunteer efforts to prepare, but will be worth it when students can participate, no matter where they’re learning or what resources they have on hand.”

Teachers will be able to incorporate STEM activity videos and associated supplies throughout the week of November 16 – 20 culminating in an interactive event on Friday, November 20 held live on YouTube. The schedule is intentionally more flexible in recognition of the higher variability in classroom set-up this fall.

Friday’s event will include virtual tours of Pima Community College campuses and Biosphere 2 as well as question and answer sessions with STEM professionals and college students.

STEM Adventure is a collaboration between SARSEF, Pima Community College – Northwest Campus, The STEMAZing Project, Office of the Pima County School Superintendent, the University of Arizona Office of Societal Impacts, Raytheon, IBM, and Thomas R. Brown Foundations.

“In order to create a virtual event that was true to the spirit of past STEM Adventures, we knew it needed to include exposure to STEM fields, connections with STEM role models, and exposure to a college campus. I’m proud to say that through collaboration, we will still be able to provide all three to STEM Adventure participants this year while expanding the event’s reach,” said Emily Halvorson-Otts, Dean of Sciences at Pima Community College’s Northwest Campus and SARSEF Board Member.

While 1,800 students were selected to receive supplies, anyone can take part by watching and participating with the videos. The Arizona STEM Adventure website will be updated once the videos are live at starting November 16.

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