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ABEC Annual Conference coming up October 27, 2017

Posted By Linda Coyle, Friday, October 20, 2017

"Steering into the Future"

ABEC Annual Conference

Friday, October 27, 2017

Desert Willow Conference Center

The speed of change is at a pace that is unprecedented in human history.  How do you see this affecting the public education system? Are our classrooms today capable of meeting the challenges of the future? Are our current and future teachers  prepared with this pace of change in mind?   Do we have systems in place between educators, business leaders, our communities and our political leaders to address these needs?

What role or effect does public education have on workforce development and the economy?

Are our students on track to be competitive in a global economy?

Business, education and community leaders will challenge our concepts and awareness of the public education system of the future at this year’s ABEC Annual Conference.

Leaders representing various education stakeholder groups will share their vision for the state’s education system and what action we need to take to get there. An incredible list of speakers include:

  • Don Budinger, Chairman & Founding Director, Rodel Foundation of Arizona
  • Jacqui Clay, Cochise County School Superintendent
  • Lattie Coor, Chairman & CEO, Center for the Future of Arizona
  • Marilee Dal Pra, Vice President of Programs, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust
  • Lily DeBlieux, Superintendent, Pendergast Elementary School District
  • Paul Dale, President, Paradise Valley Community College
  • Diane Douglas, AZ State Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Julie Euber, Manager of Education and Outreach, TGEN
  • Neil G. Giuliano, President and CEO, Greater Phoenix Leadership
  • Paul Kulpinski, Partnership Director, LAUNCH Flagstaff
  • Ron Shoopman, CEO, Southern Arizona Leadership Council
  • Steve Watson, Maricopa County School Superintendent
  • Cameron Wilson, COO,
  • Steven Zylstra, President & CEO, AZ Tech Council

Early Bird Rates end at midnight, October 22, 2017.

Register now to lock in your seat at the early bird rate.

Register Now!

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PermalinkComments (0) Admin and Counselor Workshop Coming October 30th!

Posted By Linda Coyle, Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Friends of STEM and Computer Science!


It is time for our annual School Administrator, Counselor and Teacher Information Workshop!


Grand Canyon University (GCU) and Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz)’s Arizona Regional Training Partner is doing our part to raise awareness of the increasing need for computer science in our classrooms and as after school programs. Together with, we share the vision that every student in every school in Arizona should have the opportunity to learn this important fundamental.  GCU, SFAz and are working together with school districts across our state to  complete a K-12 computer science pathway for all schools in Arizona.


Come and learn about the no-cost opportunities for your schools to participate in elementary, middle and high school computer science training to prepare teachers, equip them with online curriculum, tools and the support that is needed to introduce and facilitate this 21stcentury skill.


To learn how your school can participate we encourage your attendance at our Administrator and Counselor Workshop, Monday, October 30, 2017, as we expand our Computer Science Fundamentals (Grades K6), Computer Science Discoveries (Grades 7-9), and AP Computer Science Principles (College Board approved) high school curriculum across the state. Administrator and Counselor Workshop

Date:  Monday, October 30

Time:  1:00 – 3:00 pm

Location: Grand Canyon University

Address:  3300 W. Camelback Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85017


Please feel free to forward this email to any interested educator.


Please let us know you will be coming.  RSVP


Any questions, contact Kathryn Scott,

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Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Competition is now OPEN!

Posted By Linda Coyle, Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Are you looking for project-based learning for your STEM classroom? The Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Competition might be right for you.  It is the world's largest K-12 science competition and promotes active learning and research into science/STEM related topics. 

Want to add a fun, competitive element to your classroom that encourages a life-long love of STEM? Engage your students through the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision science competition! ExploraVision is open to K-12 students and engages young minds in real-world problem solving with a strong emphasis on science, creative thinking, and Next Generation Science Standards goals. Winning teams receive savings bonds, classroom prizes, an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to present their ideas to scientific leaders, and much more.

Download our FREE downloadable Tips for Teachers guides for more information! All K-12 students and teachers in the U.S. and Canada are eligible to participate in ExploraVision. Register now!


Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision

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Join a "Science Cafe" at ASU!

Posted By Linda Coyle, Wednesday, September 20, 2017
The ASU physics dept. started a SCIENCE CAFE!

The 1st cafe is WEDNESDAY, Sept. 27 at the original CHOPSHOP in Tempe at 5:30pm

Original Chopshop  is at  222 East University Drive
  (just west of Newman Ctr & Catholic Church at the NW corner at College Avenue).

Our first discussion will be with Mr. Mahdi Sadjadi on the Wonders of Glass.
Mahdi is a physics PhD student at ASU.
"We are surrounded by glass, yet we know very little about it!
We talk about glass at small scale about lightweight but strong glasses and their bizarre properties".

Come prepared to join the discussion and support local business: sandwiches, wraps, bowls.
    The menu is at this URL:

Also, see this URL:

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APS and the Phoenix Sun's offer mini STEM grants for Educators

Posted By Linda Coyle, Friday, September 8, 2017

Arizona Public Service Co. and the Phoenix Suns are partnering to offer Arizona teachers grants up to $2,500 for science, technology, engineering and math projects during the 2017-18 school year.

The Suns and APS have partnered during the past decade to offer mini-grants for hands-on projects in Arizona's public and charter K-12 schools. The partnership has provided $500,000 to Arizona educators since its start 10 years ago.

Arizona teachers have until October 8th to apply for these STEM mini-grants for the 2017-18 school year.  STEM projects can be a great way to engage students in active project based learning.

A total of up to $50,000 is available for these grants during this current school year, according to APS.

Applications for these STEM mini-grants, as well as the program's information and criteria, are available online. Recipients of the grants will be notified about their status by November 8, 2017.  Apply today!

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FREE Science Resources from the Burton Family Foundation

Posted By Linda Coyle, Sunday, August 6, 2017
Hi All,
I wanted to share a very exciting program for our rural high schools across the state sponsored through Society for Science & the Public and The Burton Family Foundation:

The Burton Family Foundation would like to give Science News to High School programs in rural high schools across Arizona. Additionally, if a school does not have access to a classroom set of tablets or other computers, The Burton Family Foundation may be able to supplement their funding to include a classroom set of electronic devices to the school.


If you’re not familiar with the program already, SNHS is a resource that aims to boost science literacy for every U.S. high school student – and gives teachers easy ways to bring today’s science developments into teaching.


School administrators, science teachers, librarians or anyone else interested on behalf of a high school can learn more at  and can sign-up directly at:


If you have any other questions about the program, please feel free to reach out to Anna Rhymes, the SNHSProgram Manager, at  She will be able to answer any further questions and to give a more in-depth explanation of the program and its unique offerings. 


All the best,

Lisa Icenroad


Lisa Icenroad

Program Manager, Intel International Science and Engineering Fair


1719 N St. NW, Washington, DC 20036-2801

202.872.5152 (phone), 202.785.1243 (fax)

Sign up to receive SSP's Monthly Newsletter to keep up with the latest on Intel STSIntel ISEFBroadcom MASTERS, Science News, Science News for Students, alumni updates, and more

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Posted By Linda Coyle, Friday, July 21, 2017

Guest Blog:  Dr. Len Fine, SFAz Fellow, formerly Professor & Director, Undergraduate Studies, Columbia University

 What’s this about?   It’s about a computing conference and convening in Flagstaff, Arizona, The Nation’s First STEM CITY.   The events was part of a “Foundational Model for Postdoctoral Programs in Computer Science and Engineering at Large Universities: PostDoc BP-Arizona”

The paradigm is shifting! In recent years, the combined needs of academic departments, industrial research laboratories and government agencies have led to dramatically increasing numbers of postdoctoral positions in computer science and engineering. Data from research show that the numbers of recent Ph.D.s pursuing postdocs following graduate school increased by more than 300%, soaring from 60 in 1998 to 249 in 2011. And the beat goes on.

The continued success of the discipline notwithstanding, as research organizations continue to channel many more young researchers into these positions, it is incumbent upon the computing and computer science community to have a clear understanding of the best practices associated with pursuing, hosting, and nurturing postdocs. They must be more than just workhorses for a research agenda.

The intent of this program is to articulate best practices for the several constituencies involved with special emphasis on the Computer Science and Engineering (CS&E) and to better serve the wider science and engineering communities that are linked together by computer science. It builds on recommendations aimed at realistically satisfying the career expectations for a postdoc, expanding the professional duties of the advisor who directly supervises the postdoc, and extending the responsibilities of the host organization beyond local professional needs. It also defines the supporting role that the Ph.D. advisor must assume if the pipeline is to be adequately primed and maintained. Importantly, there are roles and responsibilities for each of these constituencies before, during and after a postdoctoral experience.

In partnership with Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) and led by the Computing Research Association (CRA) and the Computing Community Consortium (CCC), and funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the program addresses national and societal needs in Computer Science, providing the platform for a new postdoctoral experience in Computer Science and Engineering (CS&E). The program addresses three aspects of the current CS postdoc model:

1.     Postdocs are often not exposed to the bigger picture: practices beyond the specific laboratory and interests of the advisor/mentor. At a crossroads in their career, postdocs are often over-focused on research at the expense of career development and advancement.

2.     The responsibility placed on the advisor/mentor is high and may be overwhelming, as it involves responsibilities to mentor one or more postdocs, manage other students and staff, maintain an active research portfolio, and develop ongoing project ideas. The advisor/mentor is recognized as one of the most important factors for the success or failure of a postdoc’s career.

3.    Organizational infrastructure at all levels--from the department to the office of research— tends to lack mechanisms to train and otherwise support postdocs. This can be ascribed to the postdoc’s interstitial employment status. Postdocs are generally considered momentary contributors within the larger research apparatus and their diminished visibility results in decreased opportunities.

The focus is on Computer Science and Engineering (CS&E) postdoctoral researchers within ASU’s School of Computing, Informatics and Decision Systems Engineering (SCIDSE) and extended state-wide through UA and NAU. The goal is to design innovative postdoctoral programming and the implementation of best practices at large, research intensive, metropolitan universities for wider dissemination and application.

The SFAz Computer science and engineering (CS&E) postdoctoral best practices initiative in partnership with ASU and in collaboration with UA and NAU held a 2-day program in Flagstaff that brought together 40 postdocs, faculty and industry partners for a series of events that brought to focus career workshops on successful grant-writing, intellectual property, and assessment of broader impacts of IT and Informatics. R&D seminars featured environmental sustainability and Big Data issues, policies and practices. Hosting the diverse event was Professor Paul Flikkima and the NAU School of Informatics, Computing and Cyber Systems (SICCS). Lowell Observatory provided an evening astronomy after dinner event for all attending. The program (attached) was exciting and engaging, and begged for follow-up programs… now being planned for late in the fall, in Flagstaff and Tucson, and in Phoenix.



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Statistics is FUN!

Posted By Linda Coyle, Monday, July 17, 2017

Guest Author: Teresa Tallman, "The MEAN lady"

Statistics for kids? Yes. Elliot Schrage, vice president of communications at Facebook, argues that our kids should study “statistics, because the ability to understand data will be the most powerful skill in the twenty-first century.”

Rebecca Nichols, American Statistical Association’s Director of Education, said: “Sound statistical thinking and reasoning takes time to develop. As mathematical thinking is developed over years of study starting in the early grades, so should statistical thinking.” 

This means that children should be introduced to statistics concepts along with other math concepts…at ages 3, 4, 5… Impossible? Not at all. 

First, let’s understand why teachers and parents don’t talk statistics to kids.

·      Parents may be unfamiliar with statistical concepts themselves.

·      Teachers are familiar with statistics and do not like it.

·      Children are too young to hear complicated terms.

·      Children do not have the math skills necessary for statistics.

Many people are afraid of statistics. I get that. My first introduction to statistics was in tenth grade math (I hate to think how long ago that was!). We were doing probability by flipping coins. I did not plan on gambling so I didn’t understand the point of probability. I couldn’t relate at all. I became traumatized by the term statistics.

When I began my career as a manufacturing engineer, my company put me through a six week, eight hour a day applied statistics class. I figured out pretty quickly that using statistical techniques in data analysis was important to this company and if I wanted to succeed, I’d better figure it out.

My factory made pressure sensitive adhesive tape for diapers, microwaves, cars, labels and highways. Let me tell you, there is a lot of designing that goes into that little tab of sticky stuff. It has to be engineered regarding what it sticks to, how long it adheres, how you get it off and what temperatures and humidity and stress it has to endure. From the manufacturing line, data is collected on temperatures, speeds, humidity, pressures, and that is paired with quality test data of raw material inputs and outputs. The data may be collected every few seconds. That’s a lot of numbers to wrestle with.

A big part of a manufacturing engineer’s job is to track the data generated and confirm that the process is steady state. It’s consistent. Don’t you hate it when you buy something at the store and you really liked it and you buy again, and it’s not what you bought before? It’s the same thing in manufacturing. A customer wants a product they can depend on. No one likes surprises.

One tool that an engineer uses is something called a control chart. It’s a picture of the data over time. On a control chart, points go up and down but you can pretty easily see if there is a trend. Limits based on normal variability help you decide when to make an adjustment to the process so a consistent product is produced. (We’ll talk about the fundamental role of variation in a future blog.)  The tool of statistical process control turns all of that data into information so people can make decisions.

Today, most factories use statistical process control to manage their operations. Factory by factory…what if statistical process control proliferated through a country? That’s just what happened to Japan after WWII thanks to the efforts of W. Edwards Deming.

Deming's teachings and philosophy are clearly illustrated by examining the results they produced after they were adopted by Japanese industry, as the following example shows. Ford Motor Co.  was simultaneously manufacturing a car model with transmissions made in Japan and the United States. Soon after the car model was on the market, Ford customers were requesting the model with Japanese transmission over the US-made transmission, and they were willing to wait for the Japanese model. As both transmissions were made to the same specifications, Ford engineers could not understand the customer preference for the model with a Japanese transmission. Finally, Ford engineers decided to take apart the two different transmissions. The American-made car parts were all within specified tolerance levels. On the other hand, the Japanese car parts were virtually identical to each other, and much closer to the nominal values for the parts—e.g., if a part was supposed to be one foot long, plus or minus 1/8 of an inch—then the Japanese parts were all within 1/16 of an inch, less variation. This made the Japanese cars run more smoothly and customers experienced fewer problems.


Many in Japan credit Deming as one of the inspirations for what has become known as the Japanese post war miracle of 1950 to 1960, when Japan rose from the ashes of war on the road to becoming the second largest economy in the world. (Wikipedia)

 That’s the power of statistics.

Statistical thinking needs to be integrated with math and science concepts throughout the learning years. I want kids to avoid my initial experience.  It should be presented in a fun environment around projects that kids are interested in. And believe it or not, we can introduce the concepts of mean, variability and other terms to preschoolers without using numbers. In the future, I’ll be sharing how to go about doing that!

Remember, STATISTICS is FUN.  

Author: Teresa Tallman

"The MEAN lady"


Tags:  fun  preschool  statistics 

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Verizon partners with SFAz and GCU to bring CS Education to AZ Teachers and Students

Posted By Linda Coyle, Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Science Foundation Arizona and Grand Canyon University are proud to announce Verizon as a supporting partner our Computer Science Regional Partnership Program, as we bring CS/Coding to teachers and students all across Arizona! To see more on Verizon's efforts to support STEM and CS, see:

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Posted By Mollie O'Reilly, Monday, June 12, 2017



 What’s new and exciting in STEM Mentoring? Glad you asked!

Three (3) STEM community HUB projects, in Flagstaff, Phoenix, and Sierra Vista, are collaborating and are planning to launch the new school year with an event in Sierra Vista. This will be an engaging day for STEM teachers and leaders that is expected to mirror the successful community HUB leadership projects held previously in Flagstaff (2016) and Phoenix (2015 and 2014).  (For more information refer to the blog of October 23rd, Mentors and Mentoring: Giving Voice to STEM )

The goal and focus of the Sierra Vista event is to bring STEM rural communities to the attention of those who need to know what’s happening, especially government and industry, academe and philanthropy – agents and agencies that can make a difference.

The day will include a discussion on a novel interim assessment protocol for ENLIST with a plan to test, the focus of which is the focus of which is the active mentoring of students and faculty within the framework of a STEM Hub. ENLIST partners Arizona State University (ASU) and Rio Salado Community College (RSC) are the proposed pilot test sites.

In addition to which a field demonstration of CISCO Telepresence is planned to test virtually connecting classrooms and institutions globally in real time that can be a blended model of STEM instruction for all of rural Arizona… led by Sierra Vista, reaching out into and beyond its community. Nice!

For more information contact: Dr. Len Fine –

 Finally, thank you to Arizona Community Foundation (ACF) from all the ENLIST partners for your continuing support of the ENLIST program, a STEM Communities Project.

In attached photo  you will see - The 3rd Annual Flagstaff Community STEM Celebration brought together members from the community, businesses, parents and students all in celebration of STEM. Flagstaff is the first recognized "STEM City” in the nation.


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