Northern Arizona University’s Center for Science Teaching and Learning, CSTL, recently received a $250,000 grant from APS to expand the APS STEM Focus Schools for the Future Program to five new schools.

The program, which currently works with 13 Arizona schools, was established with the purpose of expanding the scientifically literate workforce by assisting schools in science education through the implementation of STEM standards in learning. STEM standards endorse hands-on learning in classrooms and labs and ensure proper usage and understanding of science technology.

Initial funding from the APS Foundation in 2012 allowed NAU’s CSTL to create and implement a professional learning program model to assist Arizona schools in becoming STEM-focused. The center, which also supports informal education opportunities including museums, arboretums and park services, equips teachers and administrators with tools to service student populations traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields.

The CSTL team, made up of Kenric Kesler, professional development coordinator, Emily Evans, professional development associate, and Joelle Clark, associate director for professional development programs, will recruit additional institutions to join the program over the next two and a half years.

“The APS STEM Schools for the Future grant will allow us to continue to work with teachers and administrators from schools all over Arizona as they pursue excellence in STEM education for their students,” Kesler explains. “We could not be more excited to expand the center’s outreach.”