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Flagstaff Community STEM Celebration: Growing Community-wide Support for STEM Learning
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.