First AZ STEM SCHOOL COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE Brings Together 57 Schools

    From Across the State to Innovate the Next Generation of STEM Education in Schools


    TEMPE, AZ, April 12, 2016 – Arizona SciTech, the state’s leading innovator and proponent of STEM education, announces the launch of a joint initiative between hi-tech businesses, community members, educators, students, and parents to create the first ever AZ STEM School Community of Practice.  A Community of Practice is based upon the latest business strategy, where various stakeholders come together; they understand that knowledge is an asset that can be shared for the greater good.  These cross-stakeholder teams help each other, share information, build relationships and learn from one another.  Teams then leverage their collective existing knowledge to design innovative solutions to the problems and challenges they have identified. 


    Arizona SciTech along with Intel, Arizona Science Center and the Maricopa Education Service Agency are leading the initiative as part of a STEM ecosystem within the STEM Funders Network. 


    The first cohort of schools to be accepted into the new AZ STEM School Community of Practice consists of 57 forward-thinking, creative schools dedicated to sharing best practices and finding solutions to educate Arizona’s youths in the field of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).  School teams across Arizona, each with representation from community and industry, school leadership, educators, teachers and students, will help each other, share information, build relationships and learn from one another.  Broader matters to address will be identified by the participants to collaborate and design innovative solutions to the problems and challenges of educating Arizona’s youths in the field of STEM; to prepare them to meet the high tech needs of the future.


    Jeremy Babendure, PhD, Executive Director of AZ SciTech remarked on the highly successful initial collaboration, “We anticipated the first cohort would be made up of 20 school

    teams.  We are proud to announce 57 teams from 26 districts have affirmed their commitment to join.  This overwhelming response confirms the interest and passion of Arizona Schools for STEM education and their desire to work collaboratively to transform our STEM ecosystem.”  


    Several schools had various reasons for being included in the AZ STEM School Community of

                   “We can collaborate to develop practices that will set everyone on a course of student
                    achievement.  Building those relationships with others in the educational and business field will
                    enhance our ability to teach students and look at ways to bring our community together on our
                    STEM journey


    “In order to provide our kids with quality STEM education, we need to keep learning ourselves.  We need to know and learn what other schools are doing well, and we need to learn from those schools.”


    “Participation in the AZ STEM School Community of Practice would provide the opportunity to see how other schools and districts are implementing STEM curriculum at all levels of academia.”


    “In the first year, the collaborative group will be able to develop supportive resources for all schools to easily access, share ideas of best practices...support student needs, discuss processes and systems for developing a STEM program…build relationships with other STEM education leaders.”


    “As a group, we would be able to give STEM programs a louder voice across Arizona to bring more attention to all of the opportunities it has to offer our students.”


    “As members of the AZ STEM School Community of Practice, we can also accomplish a sense of direction.  Because many schools are in different points along their STEM journey…focus our

    attention and learning in a direction that will benefit all of its members.  Everyone can feel like

    they are on the same path, even if they are in different places.  That sense of unity will take

    away the fear of making a mistake or failing, and empower schools and teams to take chances…build a foundation that can grow as more schools join this community”.


    STEM is all about innovation.  The AZ STEM School Community of Practice is a first of its kind and asRenee Levin, Intel Community Affairs & Education Manager commented, “The entire ‘team’ involved with the AZ STEM School Community of Practice is in actuality a dream team.”   


    The kickoff meeting for AZ STEM School Community of Practice will take place at the SRP Pera Club (1 East Continental Drive, Tempe) on Wednesday, May 4, 2016 from 11:30 am – 3:30 pm. 


    For more information about the AZ STEM School Community of Practice and please visit:  http://www.azstemcop.org.A full list of the schools involved follows:


    Agua Fria High School District

    Verrado High School                                                             


    Amphitheater Unified School District

    Lulu Walker Elementary School                                       


    Avondale Elementary School District

    Centerra Mirage STEM Academy                                    

    Copper Trails School                                                             

    Michael Anderson School                                                   


    Cave Creek Unified School District

    Desert Sun Academy                                                            


    Chandler Unified School District

    Andersen Elementary School                                            

    Arizona College Preparatory Oakland Campus          

    Basha High School                                                                 

    Chandler High School                                                           

    Conley Elementary School                                                 

    Frye Elementary School                                                      

    Hamilton High School                                                          

    Weinberg Elementary School                                           


    Creighton Elementary School District

    William T. Machan Elementary School


    Deer Valley Unified School District

    Canyon Springs STEM Academy                                      

    Legend Springs Elementary School                                

    Sandra Day O'Connor High School                                 

    Sierra Verde STEM Academy                                            

    West Wing School                                                                  


    Dysart Unified School District

    Canyon Ridge School                                                            

    Thompson Ranch Elementary School


    Fort Huachuca Unified School District

    Colonel Smith Middle School                                            


    Gilbert Public Schools

    Patterson Elementary School                                           

    Glendale Elementary School District

    Discovery Elementary School                                           


    Higley Elementary School District

    Bridges Elementary School                                                


    Isaac Elementary School District

    Alta E. Butler Elementary School                                     

    Morris K. Udall Middle School

    Moya Elementary School                                                    


    Littleton Elementary School District

    Estrella Vista Elementary School                                     


    Madison Elementary School District

    Madison Park Middle School                                             


    Marana Unified School District

    Coyote Elementary School

    Quail Run Elementary School                                           

    Rattlesnake Ridge Elementary School                          

    Twin Peaks Elementary School                                        


    Mesa Public Schools

    Mendoza Elementary School                                            

    Red Mountain High School                                                

    Sirrine Elementary School                                                  


    Paradise Valley Unified School District

    Desert Shadows Elementary School                              

    Fireside Elementary School                                                       


    Phoenix Elementary School District

    Kenilworth School                                                                 


    Queen Creek Unified School District

    Gateway Polytechnic Academy                                        

    Queen Creek Middle School                                              


    Roosevelt Elementary School District

    Bernard Black Elementary School                                   


    Saddle Mountain Unified School District

    Tartesso Elementary School                                              


    Scottsdale Unified School District

    Navajo Elementary School                                                 


    Tempe Elementary School District

    Fees College Preparatory Middle School                     


    Tolleson Elementary School District                            


    Tolleson Union High School District

    University High School


    Washington Elementary School District

    Orangewood Elementary School                                    


    Individual Schools (Charter and Private)

    Brophy College Preparatory                                              

    Gilbert Arts Academy                                                           

    Grande Innovation Academy                                            

    Imagine West Gilbert

    Sonoran Schools                                                                     

    SySTEM Phoenix                                                                    

    Western School of Science and Technology              


    About AZ STEM COP


    The AZ STEM Community of Practices is a diverse collaboration of 55 school communities

    that empowers practitioners to learn from one another and transform how science, technology engineering and math (STEM) impacts schools and Arizona’s future workforce. The community involves all aspects of Arizona’s future STEM workforce including industry and community leaders, school leadership, educators, teachers, students and parents. The AZ STEM Community of Practice is an initiative of the Arizona SciTech Ecosystem in partnership with Intel, Arizona Science Center, Maricopa Education Service Agency and the National STEM Funders Network.


    About Arizona SciTech


    Through the process of spearheading one of the nation’s largest celebrations of science, technology and innovation, Arizona SciTech has cultivated dozens of regional STEM ecosystems in Arizona each involving diverse collaborations in industry, academia, arts, civic, community and K-12 education. Arizona SciTech is anchored at the Arizona Commerce Authority, in collaboration with additional foundational partners including the Arizona Technology Council Foundation, Arizona Science Center, Arizona State University, the University of Arizona and Arizona Board of Regents.  Visit azscitech.org for more information.

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    Jeremy Babendure | Executive Director, Arizona SciTech Festival
    Arizona Commerce Authority
     480-250-7764 | F 602-845-1201 | E JeremyB@AZcommerce.com
    333 N. Central Ave., Suite 1900 | Phoenix, AZ 85004

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