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Funds for STEM clubs awarded to six Yuma schools

By Sarah Womer, Yuma Sun staff writer | Posted: Sunday, August 31, 2014 3:33 pm

Six Yuma campuses were recently awarded funds for teacher professional development and to also continue or start up new after-school clubs for the 2014-2015 school year.

Palmcroft Elementary, Pueblo Elementary, Woodard Junior High, and San Luis High schools will be using the funds to create new STEM (Science Technology and Math) programs on their campuses, while funds received by Arizona Desert and Valley Horizon elementary schools will go to their existing clubs.

Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz), a nonprofit public-private partnership that makes investments to improve academic performance in STEM areas, awarded funds to 118 Arizona schools using seed-funding provided by JPMorgan Chase.

Last year, 70 selected schools that attended the inaugural Arizona STEM Club Conference received $750 in seed-funding to implement and support a club for students at their school. The second annual conference that was held in June awarded $500 to existing clubs and $700 to new clubs to a total of 118 clubs statewide.

“We are happy to partner with JPMorgan Chase to provide much needed professional development to teachers and seed-funding to after-school STEM Clubs,” said William Harris, president and CEO of SFAz.

“With the awarded grant money, schools in rural and urban communities will be able to continue or start to share the discoveries of STEM education with Arizona’s future workforce. Our goal is to prepare students to provide a significant impact to the global economy.”

Schools that received seed-funding will hold two meetings per month and participate in the STEM Club Network, which includes a yearly evaluation process. In addition, clubs are required to have a minimum of at least five members, be up and running by Sept. 15, and continue throughout the course of the academic year.

“The workforce today and that of tomorrow requires the problem-solving, teamwork and deductive reasoning skills that are acquired through hands-on exploratory learning,” said Curtis Reed, Chase market manager for middle market/commercial banking in Arizona. “We are pleased to partner with Science Foundation Arizona to provide seed-funding for the state’s STEM clubs.”

Visit www.sfaz.org for more information about Science Foundation Arizona.

Sarah Womer can be reached at swomer@yumasun.com or 539-6858. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/YSSarahWomer or on Twitter at @YSSarahWomer