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STEM Education Requires a Village: Helios Foundation Engages Arizona Students
Guest Author: Roy Smolens Jr., Science Writer, Arizona SciTech Festival
The Helios Education Foundation has a most noble mission: to enrich lives through education. Helios is dedicated to enriching the lives of individuals and families in Arizona and Florida by creating opportunities for postsecondary education success. The Arizona SciTech Festival acts a vehicle for leveraging synergies among stakeholders in the scientific, educational, and business communities to increase the output of future leaders/innovators in STEM – partnered together, a match (STEM) made in heaven!
The Helios Education Foundation partners with many schools and districts state-wide to develop a comprehensive framework to integrate STEM education. Their work includes key design elements that support the development of project-based, interdisciplinary STEM instruction. By providing practical tools and information to assist teachers, administrators, schools and districts that want to improve student outcomes by integrating STEM, Helios raises the bar for student academic achievement.
“The AZ SciTech Festival continues to engage more communities and institutions, generating significant awareness and support for STEM education. In my view, the AZ SciTech Festival is a remarkable—and much needed—catalyst for strategic change in Arizona.” Paul J. Luna, President and CEO, Helios Education Foundation
A longtime and passionate sponsor of the AZ SciTech Festival, the Helios Foundation generously helps celebrate science, technology, engineering and math (STEM or STEAM when you include the arts) through compelling collaborations. The Helios Foundation works to remove barriers to understanding STEM reduce the intimidation factor for, not just for kids, but people in general. Their support makes STEMs more approachable.
“By supporting the (festival), the Foundation believes more Arizonans will become aware of the role STEM plays in our economy,” said Dr. Jo Anne Vasquez, Vice President of Educational Practice. “In order for Arizona to be a player in the new global economy, Helios supports educational initiatives that create a college-going culture with an emphasis on academic preparation in STEM education.”
Helios has a noble goal: to enrich lives through education. The Foundation is dedicated to creating opportunities for individuals in Arizona and Florida to succeed in education, across three impact areas: Early Childhood Education, the Transition Years and Post-Secondary education success.
Added to that perspective, Helios also supports the AZ SciTech Festival by being a contributing partner to a state-wide, practical, compelling and magical celebration of STEM, which engages families, communities and businesses. By highlighting STEM career opportunities at this level, Helios provides experiences for students to be college and career ready, and visualize the many STEM career opportunities
“Arizona is a very diverse state from mountains to desert environments and by helping local communities highlight their STEM strengths they provide families the opportunity to recognize the vast range of STEM career opportunities right in their own backyard,” Rebecca Lindgren, Marketing and Communications Director, Helios Education Foundation explains.
The Foundation takes its mission seriously in education. Helios supports both the SciTech community events and many local STEM district and school initiatives by tying the relevancy of the formal STEM classroom learning to the local community. “Woven together, these experiences provide a showcase of the many STEM career opportunities in Arizona which range from developing the formula for the perfect chocolate to experiencing the science behind baseball,” Lindgren illustrated.
Another example of the Helios Education Foundation contributions would be the partnering with the Yuma Union High School District on an initiative called, “Ready Now Yuma“, Helios raises the bar for all students by not only providing students a higher expectations curriculum, it raises the STEM education bar with an academic program used by many world-leading countries in student academic achievement. “Ready Now Yuma” aims to show that it can be done for every student across an entire public school district. The curriculum and learning model that fosters college and career-ready skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving sets Yuma students on a path to preparedness ahead of many of their peers.
If you live in Arizona and care about STEM education – Helios cares.