Gowan Science Academy in Yuma selected as APS STEM School for the Future

YUMA, Ariz. - The NAU Center for Science Teaching and Learning has announced its second cohort of schools for the APS STEM School for the Future program, a professional development program that provides hands-on learning opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, to Arizona educators and school administrators.

Participating schools are Cottonwood Middle School in Cottonwood, AZ; Gowan Science Academy in Yuma, AZ; Thompson Ranch Elementary School in El Mirage, AZ; Sierra Verde STEM Academy in Glendale, AZ; and The STAR School in Flagstaff, AZ.

The APS STEM School for the Future program will provide hands-on STEM learning to teachers and administrators, and will help schools develop community partnerships. The program is made possible through a $250,000 grant from the APS Foundation, which was awarded in late 2016.

Kenric Kesler, professional development coordinator at the NAU Center for Science Teaching and Learning, says he is looking forward to a productive year of helping each of the participating schools on their journey to becoming a STEM school.

“Each school brings a unique vision for how they want to see STEM coming to life in the classroom for their students,” said Kesler. “We are using what we learned from working with the first cohort of 13 schools over the past few years to help provide concrete tools that will help our group of schools reach their goals.”

The $250,000 grant is the second round of funding from the APS Foundation to the Northern Arizona University Foundation Inc. for the APS STEM School for the Future program.

“We are looking forward to great results from this program,” said Tina Marie Tentori, executive director of the APS Foundation. “It is exciting to see such an ambitious group of educators embarking on a journey that will help make the STEM subjects an integral part of their schools’ curriculum.”

NAU recently hosted teacher representatives and principals at NAU, where they identified goals and began mapping plans for the future. The group is convening again June 5-9 at NAU for a summer institute where they are working with a graduate student to build bee nesting blocks at Willow Bend Environmental Center. Additional professional development sessions are planned for the fall, both at NAU and at participating schools.

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