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Arizona SciTech Blog

This blog is courtesy of the Arizona SciTech Festival.

Guest Author: Roy Smolens, writer, Arizona SciTech Festival

STEM is clearly an important part of every community and Flagstaff Unified School District is proud to announce an inaugural event and celebrate Flagstaff’s becoming America’s 1st STEM Community!

The Flagstaff Unified School District (FUSD) has orchestrated a celebration that has brought together Flagstaff’s public, charter and private schools for an incredible celebration and hands-on demonstrations of STEM. Please come out and join the fun at the Flagstaff Community STEM Celebration on Wednesday April 2nd from 5:30 – 7:30 pm at the J. Lawrence Walkup Skydome at NAU. STEM is clearly an important part of every community and FUSD is proud to announce this inaugural event and celebrate Flagstaff’s becoming America’s 1st STEM Community!

Participants in this event include all the K-12 schools in Flagstaff, Coconino Community College, NAU, STEM-related businesses and government entities.  Each school will have two tables, one with a static display and one with an interactive activity.  There will be LEGO robotics demonstrations by elementary and middle schools, as well as the world famous CocoNuts. Hundreds of booths will have displays, activities, and the opportunity to talk to the community members in attendance.

The idea for a large STEM Celebration occurred to FUSD District Relations Coordinator Karin Eberhard envisioned a more inclusive STEM community - gathering all the FUSD, charter and private schools in Flagstaff in a single location where they could see all the STEM opportunities that were available in the area. Eberhard said, “The students get to showcase what they do, which is always a good thing. And for our older students, they’ll get to see what’s available in Flagstaff to stay for, or if they go away to college, to come back for.”

The Flagstaff community has embraced a future of the United States that depends heavily on science, technology, engineering, and math. Mobilizing the STEM workforce requires considerable collaboration between the private and public sectors, careful communication about the importance of STEM, and changing the culture related to the fields. That’s exactly what the Community of Flagstaff, as America’s first STEM City has come together to achieve.

Flagstaff recognizes its role as a leader in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) in its Education, Business and Governance. Flagstaff-area sponsors of this event number more than 60 and include APS, Suddenlink, Northern Arizona University (NAU) and Flagstaff STEM City. This inaugural event has garnered support from all corners of the Flagstaff community. This collaboration from government agencies to schools and businesses will blow you away. Eberhard reports, “…We’re up to over 60 participating organizations and people are still contacting us, asking, ‘How do we get in this?’”

Find a way to get this event in your schedule and participate in one the State’s more innovative and collaborative STEM events! Expose your children, family and friends to a community that values a celebration of STEM. This is truly a demonstration of STEM education and opportunities for students and Flagstaff and FUSD have facilitated this for the community. 

Guest Author: Rita Marko, Phoenix Public Library/Community Relations

Phoenix Public Library, in partnership with the Arizona Science Center, will host a celebration to launch Sasha and Rodney Glassman’s newest book in their Jeremy Jackrabbit series, “Jeremy Jackrabbit Captures the Sun,” 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 12, 2014 at the Arizona Science Center, located at 600 E. Washington.
Illustrated by children from throughout the metropolitan area, including Scottsdale, Laveen, Chandler and Phoenix, more than 52,000 copies of the book will be distributed free of charge to every kindergarten student in Maricopa County. Councilwoman Laura Pastor and Councilwoman Kate Gallego will read the book at the event after which the young artists will be available to sign the pages in the book which they illustrated.

Sasha Glassman is an attorney and member of the Madison Elementary School District Governing Board. Rodney Glassman, PhD in arid land resource sciences and former Tucson city councilman, is an attorney with Ryley Carlock & Applewhite.

The Glassmans’ first book, “Jeremy Jackrabbit Harvests the Rain,” was illustrated by children in Tucson and distributed to kindergarten students in Tucson Unified School District. Their second book, “Jeremy Jackrabbit Recycles the Can,” was the subject of a 2012 illustration contest in partnership with the library. More than 46,000 copies of the book were distributed to Phoenix area kindergarten students in April 2013.

The project is supported by UFCW, First Solar, Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 469, The Arizona Republic, Phoenix Firefighters Union, AEA, MCESA, City of Tempe, ASU-GIOS, Chandler Education Foundation, Lifelock, Freeport McMoRan, ASU Foundation and the Madison Education Foundation. For more information about the Jeremy Jackrabbit book series, visit http://www.jeremyjackrabbit.com/.

For more information about the event, call 602-262-4636 or visit http://www.phoenixpubliclibrary.org/. Phoenix Public Library is a system of 16 branch libraries and the Burton Barr Central Library. Follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/phxlibrary and “like” us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/phoenixpubliclibrary.