APS Foundation Backs Girl Scouts S.T.E.M. Initiative

Posted: Mar 19, 2013

                           

The APS Foundation has awarded $100,000 to Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council (GSACPC) and Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona (GSSoAZ) to bolster STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programming statewide. With this funding, Girl Scouts can provide STEM curriculum to more than 1,900 girls in Arizona through Imagine Engineering conferences in the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas, Flagstaff, Prescott, Yuma, Douglas, Casa Grande and Window Rock.

The APS Foundation targets its funding to support STEM education programs because of Arizona’s low ranking of student proficiency in those subjects. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than half of the 30 fastest growing occupations projected through 2016 will require mastery within the STEM subjects.  Arizona student performance in those subjects continues to lag behind the rest of the nation.

“Our programs work to raise the number and performance of students currently excelling in STEM subjects, particularly among girls, who are historically underrepresented in these areas due to a lack of exposure,” said Tamara Woodbury, CEO of GSACPC . “Our efforts wouldn’t be possible without support from The APS Foundation and their unwavering commitment to STEM education.”

STEM is a strategic focus of Girl Scouts on both the national and local levels. “We want to encourage all girls – not just those in Girl Scouts – to build aspirations of pursuing STEM careers in the future,” said Debbie Rich, CEO of GSSoAZ.  Girl Scout STEM programs such as Imagine Engineering jump-start girls’ interest in STEM subjects to boost the percentage of female scientists and engineers, which is now at 24 percent. 

Imagine Engineering is the only statewide program of its kind, and will provide girls with the opportunity to participate in hands-on experiential engineering activities as well as access to positive female mentors who are STEM professionals. As a complement to school curriculum, girls will gain an understanding of the basic skills needed within each engineering discipline such as using simple machines to make a complex system, programming robots to complete tasks, using basic math to meet transportation needs, and designing an electrical circuit using an alternative power supply.

For more information, including locations and registration, visit www.girlscoutsaz.org/stem.