Northern Arizona University’s Power of Data project in the Center for Science Teaching and Learning recently was recognized as an exemplary teacher professional development program by Change the Equation, a national organization that brings together businesses and educators to ensure all students are STEM literate.

The project is now one of 42 programs nationwide and the first in Arizona featured in the STEMWorks database, a resource utilized by the private sector to identify collaborators for improving STEM literacy in public schools.

Through the Power of Data project, career technology and education instructors mentor science and math teachers from across the country. Teachers learn how to help their students build an understanding of science, technology, engineering and math as well as develop important life skills for future career success.

“We are thrilled at the opportunity to develop new collaborations with the business community and expand the Power of Data project nationwide,” said Lori Rubino-Hare, professional development coordinator in the Center for Science Teaching and Learning. “We believe we have a successful approach for combining project-based instruction, science content and geospatial technology to help teachers develop engaging and successful lessons which require students to engage in scientific and engineering practices.”

The program is a collaborative effort organized by the center, the geology program in the School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability and the Department of Geography, Planning and Recreation.