Three district schools honored for STEM excellence

Red Mountain High School, Mendoza Elementary and Sirrine Elementary are part of the first cohort of schools accepted into the new AZ STEM School Community of Practice.

Red Mountain biotechRed Mountain High School, and Mendoza and Sirrine elementary schools have been accepted into the new AZ STEM School Community of Practice.  

Arizona SciTech, Intel, Arizona Science Center and the Maricopa County Education Service Agency are leading the initiative as part of a STEM ecosystem within the STEM Funders Network. In a community of practice, stakeholders share knowledge, build relationships and learn from each other. 

The three district schools are part of a 57-school cohort. These schools are forward thinking, creative and dedicated to sharing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) best practices. Cohort participants will collaborate and design innovative solutions to the challenges of educating students in STEM, and to prepare them to meet the high-tech needs of the future.

"This opportunity will provide a platform for educators from 57 Arizona schools to collaborate with community and industry, developing a pathway that will inspire student success in science, technology, engineering and math," says Colleen Howard, district K-6 STEM coordinator. "Empowering students in these disciplines builds confidence and increases student interest in pursuing STEM courses and careers."

Jeremy Babendure, executive director of AZ SciTech, shares, "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."

Mendoza, Red Mountain and Sirrine principals and staff are thrilled to embark on this new journey. District science staff will also be taking an active role.

"This is an amazing opportunity to collaborate with STEM leaders in Arizona," says Deb Lynch, principal at Mendoza Elementary. "We will be building networks with STEM innovators across the state, collaborating with other STEM leaders, and will represent Mesa Public Schools as an innovative school working in the STEM community to be a leader in the field."

A Red Mountain High School biotechnology student works on a project in class. (Photo by Tim Hacker/Mesa Public Schools)


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