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Arizona SciTech Blog

This blog is courtesy of the Arizona SciTech Festival.


When is a partnership more than a partnership?  When it involves STEM education, Intel and community organizations blending their experience, best practices, background and advice, all to benefit local schools and their students.  Arizona schools, public, private and charter, have the unique opportunity of unprecedented access to Intel’s wealth of information, practices and knowledge through Arizona’s first STEM School Community of Practice.


So how does Intel’s CoPs work and how will Mentoring and Planning Services (MAP) help local schools and educators? 


For decades, Intel has been a leader and innovator in business and a pioneer in the area of Community of Practice (CoP). Intel recognized quite some time ago that information and work silos were no longer a feasible structure for success for the company or for Intel employees. After a study of the market, the new paradigm instituted was based on CoPs.  Intel CoPs have proven immensely successful having solved challenges, as well as identified multiple solutions from which to choose but also resulted in an extremely enthusiastic, highly collaborative workforce.


Basically, a problem at Intel is either recognized by management or by employees working on a project.  The problem is communicated throughout the company.  Anyone who has an interest in or has expertise in a component for the solution of the problem is welcomed to join the “community”.   This method draws talent and minds from all over the company, not one area, not one department and not one group.  Many minds with a common goal come together to work to find a solution.  This “community” then discusses the issues, possible solutions and what is needed to find the solutions.  Should an idea come up within the community but no one possesses the particular expertise required, an existing community member invites a colleague, someone with that needed expertise, to join the community…and the community of minds expands.  One very interesting and unexpected benefit from this new paradigm became apparent when challenges were recognized well in advance of the challenge mushrooming into an actual problem that had to be solved immediately. Various CoPs also discovered that there were many different ways to get to a solution… through the discussions and sharing of information. 


In brief, CoPs allowed Intel to move from silos with no shared learning to a system of eliminated barriers, a sense of community, shared knowledge and effectively eliminated the necessity of continually reinventing the wheel.  This system breaks the tribal mentality1 and results in an extremely enthusiastic, highly collaborative and efficient workforce.  As Janet McConnell, Technical Project Manager at Intel commented, “…a rising tide raises all boats.” The idea of collaborative learning and problem solving has proven to be immensely successful at Intel and it is this structure and experience that Intel brings to STEM education in Arizona.


Now, for Intel’s MAP.  Intel, which has always demonstrated profound corporate social responsibility to their communities, created the Mentoring and Planning Services (“MAP”) program.  Through this program, Intel employees volunteer their time and talents to mentor, guide and offer technical advice to schools offering STEM education as well assist non-profit organizations in the area.  Intel’s MAP volunteers use the best practices learned from actual experience and work within the CoPs to the mentor, guide and solve problems for the Arizona STEM School Community of Practice.  MAP volunteers along with partners Arizona Science Center’s Freeport McMoRan Center for Leadership and Learning and the Maricopa County Education Service Agency (MCESA) will lead and design STEM learning for students and educators. These corporate and community teams are committed to providing technical assistance for participants in the Arizona STEM School Community of Practice by facilitating dialogue among schools and interest-based groups, sharing high quality resources, modeling instructional practices that support thought, design and creativity within a STEM environment, and models of STEM implementation.  The team is highly experienced and recognized for their abilities to nurture change through mentoring, coaching, and developing collaborative relationships. Renee Levin, Intel Community Affairs & Education Manager summed up the collaboration and insight into the partnership perfectly.  “At Intel, the vast majority of our jobs require advanced education in the STEM areas. Our employee volunteers are excited to participate in this program. They know how rigorous a STEM education path is and they want to help prepare students today for the jobs of tomorrow.”    

World’s Best-Known Chip Processor Applies CoPs to Create CSOs

What in the world is a CoP and a CSO and how does it involve Intel? Keep reading and you’ll quickly connect the dots.

Intel, known for its inventive ways of processing information, has initiated and uses a truly revolutionary process when it comes to figuring out challenges as well as identifying challenges before they become problems. And in the process (you’ll excuse the pun) has harnessed the energy and creativity of their employees across the entire enterprise with a result beyond expectations.

The name of this revolutionary concept – Community of Practices or “CoPs.”   The CoP is essentially a network of people who self-identify. They share an interest (“domain”), are committed to that domain, value their collective competence and learn from each other; therefore, a shared competence that distinguishes members from other people. Basically, a CoP is a learning eco-system that applies to business…and which Intel, through the AZ SciTech Ecosystem, now applies to education.

A bit of some background here. Jim Henrys, Principle Strategist, Enterprise Solution Sales at Intel recognized quite a while ago that information and working silos constricted by a severe hierarchal structure were no longer the future and no longer a feasible structure for success for the company or for Intel employees. He studied the market, determined what was needed in the future and created the CoPs around that. This was not based only on theory. They used real Intel problems, shared information and presented the solution. They also found out there were many different ways to get to a solution and learned a great deal because of the sharing; more minds working toward a goal and solution to a problem.

Fastforward several years. Intel CoPs have proven immensely successful, effectively solve challenges, identify problems before they even become problems and identify multiple solutions from which to choose…but also result in an extremely enthusiastic, highly collaborative workforce. CoPs allowed Intel to move from silos with no shared learning to a system of eliminated barriers, a sense of community and eliminated the necessity of continually reinventing the wheel. This system breaks the tribal mentality. 1

Enter the Intel – AZ SciTech connection. The AZSciTech EcoSystem, the only one in Arizona and unique within the US, is an original partner and recipient in the Stem Funders Network (SFN), part of the national initiative, STEM Ecosystems Initiative, to bring STEM education into the schools.

Intel has always demonstrated profound corporate social responsibility to their communities and created the Mentoring and Planning Services (“MAP”) program which brought together Intel and the AZ SciTech initiative. Ah ha, dots are starting to connect!

Based on Intel’s successful CoPs in business, Intel is THE role model AND key partner/collaborator with AZ SciTech to bring CoPs to STEM education in Arizona. Aligning Intel with the STEM Ecosystems Initiative allows Arizona SciTech an important opportunity to join a like-minded national community of practice, enhance, refine and validate existing efforts through technical assistance, co-develop new and transformative initiatives such as the Chief Science Officers and share information and solutions within our local community but also with national partners. Intel’s success and experience provide the quick pathways to initiate, develop, support and operate successful STEM CoPs. All dots now connected!

STEM Learning Ecosystem


The AZ SciTech Initiative, Chief Science Officers program is free and open to all schools. It creates a CoP where all information is shared, common challenges discussed and offers the young CSOs an unparalleled opportunity to develop leadership skills in the realm of STEM…in short, dramatically impact and affect the future of STEM education in Arizona, the schools, the community and the CSO themselves.

Renee Levin, Intel Community Affairs & Education Manager summed up the collaboration and insight into the partnership perfectly. “At Intel, the vast majority of our jobs require advanced education in the STEM areas. Our employee volunteers are excited to participate in this program. They know how rigorous a STEM education path is and they want to help prepare students today for the jobs of tomorrow.”    


For more information on how to join an AZ SciTech Initiative CoP or become a CSO, please visit:

For more information on Intel’s MAP program, please visit:


 1Tribal Mentality is a trait extremely useful for the development of the species, but which should have become progressively obsolete in the 21st Century. The “us” Vs. “them” mentality is an “inherent” and “inherited” trait that today prevents our growth as human beings in our interconnected, multicultural world. Claudia Brauer, Brauer Training, has assignments for the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI and the DEA and holds Homeland Security Clearance.

2Jr Sr Renaissance

2Jr Sr Renaissance

To the thousands who attend the annual Arizona Renaissance Festival and Artisan Marketplace the word needs no explanation


For eight weekends each year, 30 acres in Gold Canyon travel back in time to the 16th century and the Renaissance. Now in its 28th year, from February 6 through March 27, the Renaissance comes to life in Arizona, in all shapes and forms from the eating of turkey legs to incredibly talented artisans displaying one of a kind crafts that harken back to the 16th century. So how does science relate to those olden days and why is the Renaissance Festival a sponsor, for the fifth year, of the AZ SciTech Festival? The explanation is in this year’s Renaissance Festival name, “The Age of Discovery Innovation & Exploration.”


Put away your armor, your lance, set aside plans for jousting and we will explain.




Many innovations that began in the 16th century, the period known as the Renaissance, are still evident and influential today.   Much of what we consider our modern world can be traced back to the dreamers, inventors and innovators of the Renaissance: biology, chemistry, painting, architecture, art, maps, language, trade, culture and so much more all have roots in the 16th century Renaissance. If any of the following sound familiar, these all started with the sciences, STEAM, of the Renaissance; the printing press, medical instruments, anatomy, travel, trade routes, armored car, parachute, mechanical clock, microscope and the magnetic compass. And the most well-known Renaissance STEAM genius who still amazes scientists and lay people alike, Leonardo da Vinci, certainly tops the list.


The Arizona Renaissance Festival, one of the most successful in the entire country, attracted over 270,000 people last season and is one of our areas most engaging entertainment experiences for the entire family. Aside from its famous jousting tournaments (to get a good seat, you’ll want to head to the jousting arena early), the fun costumes and overall excitement of the entire area, The Renaissance Festival has developed into an extraordinary STEAM learning experience for children and adults alike. The Festival’s Student Days is an engaging, interactive way for kids to learn, hands-on, about Renaissance history, science, language, arts, customs, commerce, math, geography and more. The general public is not admitted during these two days which attracted over 30,850 students, educators and parents last year. Student Days are wisely separated into age/grade groups focusing on the most appropriate experience for the particular age; this year March 1st is for elementary schools with March 3rd for Jr. high/middle schools and high schools.


Renaissance technology, mechanical technology spawned the scientific revolution; science and technology began a cycle of mutual advancement. When asked what do you hope attendees learn when participating in The Renaissance Festival, Sanja Malinovic, Marketing Director, thoughtfully replied, “…to dream. To see that their ideas could become the seed for future projects – they could be the new Renaissance – or a future Da Vinci.”

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition. Phoenix will be hosting the fair this year which will draw more than 1,700 students in grades 9-12 from nearly every state in the U.S. and 75 countries. Students will be competing for more than $4 million in prizes and awards. The Phoenix Local Arrangements Committee is seeking volunteers, judges and interpreters to support the fair, which will be held at the Phoenix Convention Center. 
Volunteers: More than 500 general volunteers for a variety of activities are needed from May 4 – 13. Daytime, evening and weekend shifts are available for everyone ages 14-99. On-site training will be provided.
Judges: Approximately 1,000 judges are needed for 22 scientific disciplines on Tues., May 10 and Wed., May 11. Judges must have a minimum of six years related professional experience beyond receiving a B.A., B.S. or Master’s degree OR a Ph.D., M.D., or equivalent.
Interpreters: About 200 interpreters in more than 25 languages are needed to work with students throughout the week in various ways, with the largest need on Wed., May 11 during judging (technical knowledge not required).
For more information and to register, visit: student.societyforscience.org/volunteers.  For other questions please send to volunteer@societyforscience.org.

More Than Just Words, AZ SciTech Festival  
Presenting Sponsor is Giant Presence In Community

Guest Author: Michele Peters, writer, Cox Communications 


COX, the premier communications company in Arizona, connects and communicates with the community; but COX brings these concepts to new heights.  Starting as a Platinum sponsor of the AZ SciTech Festival at its inception five years ago, COX is now the Festival’s Presenting Sponsor.  Why?  In these days of corporate economic cutbacks, COX is bucking the trend and instead is forward-thinking with its support of STEM in Arizona.  In fact, COX is again setting the gold standard for community involvement.  R.J. Muller, Manager of Community Relations at COX Communications readily commented, “…COX is strongly committed to STEM and what it brings to our community.  STEM is relevant within our state and especially our youth. We are trying to help prepare our youth for the future, they will be the ones to lead our community into the future and STEM is an important part of that future.” 


Connection to community is undeniable on so many levels.  COX’s STEM JOURNALS on COX Channel 7 is a veritable science smorgasbord of all phases of STEM.  Check it out and get excited about all the possibilities STEM has to offer – right here in Arizona; possibilities are endless and many you probably didn’t know about.  Not certain if science, or what in the sciences may interest you – check out any one of the 1,000 + events at the AZ SciTech Festival – you will be surprised… and will probably get that answer.


COX not only talks the talk but walks the walk.  Realizing not all children or families in our community have access to the digital world; their solution – Technology Centers.  COX has opened 33 Technology Centers that give internet access to students who would not otherwise have the Internet available to them.  COX works to bridge, as Muller puts it, “…the digital divide” and provides low cost broad band to low income families in our area.



Through the AZ SciTech Festival, new, unexpected partnerships have also emerged.  COX and its Connect2Stem now partners with the University of Arizona Medical School for the signature event that celebrates science, technology, engineering, math… and medicine.  Over 2,000 people attended its inaugural year in 2015, attendance at the January 9th event was 4,800 – more than doubled!  The partnership continues to grow and benefits everyone, but most of all, benefits our community.  And where else but at a Connect2Stem event with a medical school would there be a life-sized synthetic cadaver that talks, breathes, bleeds and sweats! 


COX has garnered several awards over the years as a corporation that cares about its customers, outstanding customer service and its community; so what better way to put this experience to good use than to create its own award focused on STEM, COX Connect2Stem Awards.  For the second year, COX in partnership with the AZ SciTech Festival, honors STEM Connectors in five areas:  business, non-profit, education, conservation and after school programs.  This prestigious award highlights and recognizes the STEM leaders in our community – and those who impact our future.


Throughout the years of the partnership between COX and AZ SciTech, as in any strong partnership, both reap benefits; but in this case, there is a silent partner, our community.  And because of COX and AZ SciTech joining forces, spectacular ideas, like the Chief Science Officers are created and developed; “…because of all that AZSciTech brings to our company and community, we are inspired to do more” said Muller.  It may surprise you just how much there is out there. 


And may the force, the STEM force, be with us!

1Doug Ducey

1Doug Ducey

PHOENIX – “In January, I stood in front of a joint legislature to deliver my priorities for this session – and key among them was a strong focus on career and technical education.

“Now, following a bipartisan – unanimous – vote in both chambers, we are one step closer to providing vital support for thousands of Arizona students while keeping a structurally-balanced budget.

“This victory is a high testament to what I’ve said since the beginning – we can be responsible with our budget while adding significant, real dollars to K-12 education.

“Over the past month, I’ve traveled the state corner to corner. I’ve met with education leaders, teachers, principals, parents and students. They share this commitment to ensuring that all Arizona students are prepared for life after high school graduation – whether college or career.

“To them, and to all Arizonans, I’m proud to say that the plan I signed today delivers. I thank our legislators – especially Speaker David Gowan and President Andy Biggs – for working swiftly and in good faith to put our kids first.”



For more information or assistance, contact Governor Ducey’s press office: 602-542-1342




What’s the connection? AZ SciTech Festival’s Partner Strong Ties, TURN UP FOR STEAM event – has it all and more!

A weekend filled with and fueled by STEAM. The 3-day event, with its overarching theme, the Science of Sound, is filled to the brim with ingenious innovations, new technology and hands on exhibits including games, coding and even a Coding Hackathon.

So much going on it’s almost impossible to choose – reserve the weekend, February 19, 20 and 21st and plan to attend the annual event at Phoenix College in the West valley area. And by the way, we hate to name drop, but the AZ SciTech Festival and its partners are known for their “pizzazz” and the guest list of those interacting with the students at Turn Up for STEAM is quite impressive; DISNEY STUDIOS, LaMar Queen of MusicNotes in LA and Black Poet Ventures from Phoenix (putting the “A- arts” in STEAM); GOOGLE AND GO DADDY!

Here’s an overview of the STEAMED UP weekend:

FRIDAY: The science of sound, how specific principles of science are actually integrated into music…Hip Hop! It’s the world of rhythm and rhyme and hip-hop…where science meets art. Filled with a high pumping, energetic, and fun exploration of science using hip-hop as the tool. Students will learn: the biology and physics of sound; the use of technology for audio recording sound using software and the microphone; how engineers apply vibration, wavelengths, frequency, and amplification when producing sound; mathematics found in sound, such as fractions, and delve head first into the arts and musical expressions that include learning technology for making music.

SATURDAY: It’s more than just a game! The Coding Hackathon is an incubator of ideas that involves idea creation, design process, development, test, and presentation where students are quickly transformed from player to creator by learning to program while they create their own game through coding and the use of Beta: The Game, a special software platform that produces instant gaming effects and collaborations. Hidden Level Games, a New York based software company, will teach students how to use their game development software (Beta The Game) which features #CodePop, a “tweet‐sized” programming language.

SUNDAY: A day of celebration and culmination of the entire weekend that features the Pathway to STEM Parent Panel. An exciting and thoroughly unique finale of the event is when the kids get to “strut their stuff”. The students demonstrate and present what they learned, experienced and created during the event. And as for the celebration – it is a big one because Sunday is the day to celebrate and honor Black History month.

Loretta Cheeks, co-chair of the event and Strong TIES Founder stresses, “…this is a community-building partnership initiative, connecting youth to resources, mentors, organizations, tools and techniques grounded in STEAM. The event celebrates the genius and possibilities of our metro-Phoenix youth and ignites STEAM innovations.”

In the words of one of the parents attending last year, Rose Robinson from the Prairie View A&M University (Northwest campus); tweeted that she was “apprehensive because it’s a gaming workshop, but now I know it’s computer science, so glad I brought my son!”

Perhaps the underlying philosophy of the event can best be described by educator Marcus Roberts “take what a young person knows, and give them the tools to use what they know, to unlock what they don’t know.” Cheeks recently had a group of youths at an event. She asked them to take out their cell phones (which took about one second!). She then asked if they knew how the texts they send from their phone gets to their friend’s phone. For this and other steaming questions, plan to spend time at the Turn Up For STEAM event. You’ll be glad you attended.

Experience STEAM Happenings –A Night That Opens Minds and Possibilities

Arizona State University (ASU) once again hosts its signature community event, ASU NIGHT OF THE OPEN DOOR, a night when the entire community is invited to see and experience the creative energy that powers a world-class university, with hundreds of interactive activities and student, faculty and staff volunteers.  Visitors can explore laboratories, living collections and museums on all five of ASU’s campuses, as well as experience artistic performances, hands-on activities and spaces normally closed to public view. Learn just what is going on behind all those walls, buildings and ASU campuses throughout the Valley.

Attend this event on any of the campuses and it is no mystery as to why ASU was recently recognized as the #1 most innovative school in the country (US News and World Report 2016). At the core of its #1 rating are the fundamentals of ASU and driving forces behind this world-wide recognition:

  • ASU’s innovative faculty and staff provide students a quality education and the tools to succeed
  • ASU’s quality programs prepare students for an ever-changing globally-connected world
  • Through research, ASU’s goal is to develop solutions to real-life challenges for communities, local to global

ASU, a foundational partner of the AZ SciTech Festival, is a natural connection since ASU Night of the Open Door brings together ASU with the entire community, while showcasing serious STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) research in a fun, unintimidating and exciting atmosphere.

Who should attend ASU Night of the Open Door? Families; AZ Schools K-12; local communities, girl scouts, boy scouts; faculty and staff; all ages, all generations. Why? Margaret Coulombe, Director, ASU Executive Communications readily answered, “…attendees at Night of the Open Door often discover they do have an interest in STEAM; often times in areas they never imagined would inspire and excite them and all because they had the opportunity to experience such a wide variety of areas, easily accessible and available to them https://opendoor.asu.edu/ in one night…” This one night might inspire a new direction in a person’s life, can make a change in that one life or possibly many lives, especially when children, who are the future, are excited about science and the arts.

It is  impossible to list all that you can do here; however, we can give you a sampling of the exhibits and activities you could participate in. To help plan your visit, you can download the new Night of the Open Door app: https://opendoor.asu.edu/get-night-open-door-event-app or go to https://opendoor.asu.edu. But be forewarned, it’s not easy to decide! So, make an evening of it and enjoy all the sights, sounds and delights that await you at ASU’s Night of the Open Door.

To register, please click: https://opendoor.asu.edu/registration-form … AND … if you pre-register, you get a chance to win a free prize, in addition to your free glow wand at the welcome boothss (limited quantities, first come, first serve).


  • High Performance Hybrid Camaro
  • Solar and Aquatic Robots • Human Sized Bubbles and Slinkys
  • Noodle Soccer and Beep Ball
  • 20+ Foreign Language Lessons
  • Moon, Mars, Exoplanets and More
  • Arizona Rubik’s Cube Competition
  • Create Your Own Game or Comic Book
  • Design a Website or App
  • Football Trivia and toss game
  • Salt Water Fish and Zoo Animals
  • Nursing as a Career
  • Engineering and Nanotech Lab Tour
  • Sustainability Solutions Festival Downtown
  • Student Film Festival
  • Rugby Clinic
  • World Art Scavenger Hunt
  • Make International Puppets & Flags
  • Scale the Climbing Wall
  • 3D Printers and Puzzles
  • World-wide Karaoke, Art & Dance
  • Biodesign Institute Demos and Fun Zone


Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, 4-8 p.m. https://opendoor.asu.edu/west


Friday, Feb. 12, 2016, 4-8 p.m. https://opendoor.asu.edu/downtown-phoenix


Friday, Feb. 19, 2016, 5-9 p.m. https://opendoor.asu.edu/polytechnic 


Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, 4-8 p.m. https://opendoor.asu.edu/thunderbird


Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, 4-9 p.m. https://opendoor.asu.edu/tempe

Is SPACE your thing? Plan time for the School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE)

  • Robotics, meteorite displays, lab tours and talks
  • Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) Science Operations Center
  •  Mars Space Flight Facility (Moeur Building)
  • Ronald Greeley Center for Planetary Studies (NASA Regional Planetary Information Facility) and 3D Marston Exploration Theater shows.

STEAM is extremely important for our children, our state and our country; students currently in our schools, as well as future generations of students, must be provided opportunities and encouraged to understand and embrace the technology that affects them every day of their lives. ASU, along with AZ SciTech Festival, supports this investment on every front.

As Coulombe so aptly remarked, “You don’t know you can become something, if you don’t know it exists. Children, students of all ages, parents and grandparents have the chance to reach out and grab the future they want.”

Students Can Own Their Future

So much to consider! Employment in occupations related to STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) is projected to grow to more than 9 million between 2012 and 2022, an increase of about 1 million jobs over 2012 employment levels.1 Did that catch your attention?   Here’s more. U.S. businesses voice concerns over availability of STEM workers. More? Over the past 10 years, growth in STEM jobs was three times as fast as growth in non-STEM jobs. STEM workers are less likely to experience joblessness; STEM workers play a key role in the sustained growth and stability of the U.S. economy, and are a critical component to helping the U.S. win the future. 2


Question is how to BE one of those STEM employees. The Metropolitan Education Commission (MEC), a partner of The AZ SciTech Festival for three years now, has real-world answers in one fun, unintimidating, information-filled get up close and personal jam-packed symposium on February 3rd   at the University of Arizona (UA) Student Union Ballroom from 9:00 am – 12:30 pm aptly named the KEY TO EMPLOYMENT SYMPOSIUM. And they know how to do this right – this is the 19th year the MEC has put together this Symposium that continues to grow in students attending and potential employers.


The Symposium, the first of its nature in the state, focuses totally on high school students from all over Pima County; public high schools, magnet, charter schools, parochial schools and home-schooled, students from so many educational backgrounds come together with one thing in common – a curiosity about employment in STEM. Here they talk with one another and talk with representatives from a wide spectrum of high tech corporations, academia and the military – basically anyone using high technology as the ‘tools of their trade”.  


— more —

Dr. June Webb-Vignery, MEC Executive Director, the driving force and organizer of the Symposium explained, “…students must know what is needed for a career in a particular field involving STEM. They come to the Symposium to find out what courses they need to take in high school and college to get into that particular career. The Symposium offers a unique, well-rounded experience so the students themselves can ‘connect all the dots’ to a pathway in a career that is important and interesting to them.”


Corporations like IBM (a stalwart supporter of the Symposium), Bombardier Aerospace, Tucson Electric Power, the Arizona TeleMedicine Program, UA College of Engineering Workshop, are examples of the diverse nature of those students can talk with and obtain those important ‘dots’ to connect.


And what are those ‘dots’ that need connecting? STEM fields are closely related and build on each other. For example, math provides the foundation for physics—and physics, in turn, for engineering. Engineers apply their knowledge of physics to make high-tech devices that test theories in physics. Advances in physics lead to advances in engineering and technology.


Too often the only time a student spends on a college campus is to attend a football game. With the Symposium, students are given tours of the UA campus, and that alone gets kids thinking about what their future can be – that they too can attend a university, start down a path to a good education, a good job and a good future; and be part of the STEM future… it can impact lives.


STEM workers drive our nation’s innovation and competitiveness by generating new ideas, new companies and new industries. The jobs of tomorrow will be in STEM… the future of the economy will be in STEM. WHERE WILL YOUR FUTURE BE?


1 From the Bureau of Labor Statistics March 2014 report

2 From the U.S. Department of Commerce


The MEC Keys To Employment Symposium, a leader to get our kids thinking about where the future jobs will be has also been instrumental in showing unprecedented success when the forces of the community are brought together. It has brought together the three usual entities, high-tech businesses, educational organizations and high school students; but one more entity that is truly critical has been forward-thinking and supportive and not always a part of the mix – politicians. To be specific, the Pima County Attorney, Barbara LaWall is leading by example and showing what can be achieved when everyone comes together for the good of the students and the community. LaWall, completely supportive of MEC and the Symposium, has commented that their support is common sense prevention – putting efforts into youths from the beginning is drop-out rate prevention and ultimately is crime prevention.  

To AZ SciTech newsletter followers, welcome back. To those of you who are new to what we are and what we do…welcome to a new era of technology and community involvement.

AZ SciTech is a grass-roots initiative that has taken hold, in a big way. This is now the fifth year for the AZ SciTech Festival and even though we are the new kid on the block, we are considered the third largest science and technology festival in the nation; we are in good company, Washington D.C and New York City are the only ones ahead of us.

The official start of the Festival begins today and runs through March, with well over 50 communities and 800 organizations throughout Arizona participating, in over 1,000+ events across the entire spectrum of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Participants include community organizations, universities, schools and corporations like our Presenting Sponsor, COX Communications, State Farm, Honeywell and innovations from Intel, Orbital ATK and Google.

So whether you are three or 103, the range of events at the Festival is second to none in our area covering all disciplines related to STEM. What does this mean? Whatever your interest, there is something at the Festival to delight, educate and engage you – and what may be a great surprise as several attendees have mentioned, things you never thought would interest you (or even gave a passing thought to), grab you and could quite possibly open up a world of new possibilities with an impact that may just change your life. Festival activities include everything from archeology, paleontology and geology to medicine, biology, chemistry, the computer sciences, robotics, aviation, aerospace and astronomy. With all of these opportunities we can confidently say, the AZ SciTech Festival literally has something for everyone.

STEM is the future of education, the future of our community, the future of our workforce…it is the future. Please join us at the AZ SciTech Festival and see for yourself what the future holds.