STEM, the science, technology, engineering and learning program that’s taught in a project based format is designed to stimulate excitement and build awareness levels in the curriculum offered. STEM has received rave reviews in its ability to raise confidence and extend the thinking of the participants in their choice of careers.
Arizona’s STEM program is administered by the Science Foundation, Arizona. The Foundation works in conjunction with: business educators, government and philanthropic organizations to share in the common goal of success of those students who participate in the program. The STEM Network is focused on:
- Building engagement of the business community in educational opportunities
- Bolstering teacher competence in the program
- Integrating STEM into to the AZ School System
- Getting the populace to embody STEM into their culture
Recently, the Arizona Science, Engineering and Mathematics Scholars (ASEMS) Program received a grant, from the US Department of Education, in the amount of $1.1 million. This award will allow the AZ STEM to attract and retain additional participants, who are in high demand, in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. ASEMS has located a number of funding opportunities that support and help the growth of the program.
ASEMS has invested time and energy in building the retention rates in the program. From a total of 50 students, 92% have graduated or are still in attendance at the UA. Additionally, 47% of those who have completed the program are currently in graduate or professional programs.
ASEM pursues two paths; one being a traditional program and the other lends itself to transfer students. The Federal Grant, that’s now in place, focuses on kids who are first generation students, those with disabilities and individuals who require financial assistance. Thanks to the Federal Grant, the following can be more easily accomplished.
l Appointment of a director and the hiring of a new staff member
l Expansion of one-on-one peer advising
l Hiring Student Employees
l Addition of academic involvement for upper class men
l Training in Financial Literacy
l Specialized training provided by the College of Medicine’s Office of Diversity and inclusion to assist those who are looking to pursue careers in the Health Sciences
l Job Search Workshops
l Increased Family Involvement
l Encouraging students to enroll in a Summer Program that assists them in acclimating to both the college academic and social climate
As the world continues to develop technologically and science keeps revolutionizing the way we live, transact business, communicate, and socialize, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math take on an ever growing importance in our lives. Hooray, for the STEM program may it expand, teach, prosper and continue to train and support those it serves.