A Memorable Day in Flagstaff STEM
Submitted by Dr. Len Fine, October 21 2016
Taking note of the historic
"Shining City Upon a Hill” farewell address Ronald Reagan delivered at the end
of his presidency, Flagstaff, Arizona STEM City leader David Engelthaler
provided the basis for a wide-ranging "Mentor and Mentoring: Giving Voice to STEM”
event that spanned the afternoon of Friday, September 30th.
The afternoon followed on the
heels of a morning "Back-to-School Breakfast” sponsored by 100Kin10 that
captured the essence of this national industry network initiative, engaging 200
business/industry partners – 24 in Arizona – engaged actively in adding 100K
excellent new teachers to the K-12 STEM workforce. Challenging the Arizona
partners were seven grand challenges and their root causes, including the
undervaluing of STEM in the general education of students and the professional
development of their teachers.
Joining with the Arizona STEM
Network led by Dr. Mary O’Reilly, both events were hosted by Professor Max Dass
and the Northern Arizona University (NAU) Center for Science Teaching and
Learning (CSTL) that he leads, in their shiny new digs in the Science and
Health Building. Thanks, Mary, and Max!
As Arizona lead partner
Freeport McMoRan pointed out, meeting the 100Kin10 goal is a social
responsibility and a moral test requiring significant community investment. And
that is just what the afternoon program was all about: COMMUNITIES significantly INVESTING IN STEM.
What Engelthaler took note of
in his "view from a STEM City on a Hill” was the community commitment to STEM
in Flagstaff – his Shining City - connecting the S (Science) and M (Math)
in STEM through the T (Technology) and E (Engineering)… STEM … and the
collective impact STEM makes connecting Arizona communities.
Participants in the afternoon
were challenged by three community panels, each responsible for framing
strategic aspects of STEM – by a government panel, by a STEM education panel,
and by a business and industry panel.
The government panel led off
with Flagstaff Mayor Jerry Nabours and included Art Babbott, Chair of the
Coconino County Board of Supervisors; media representation by Bonnie Stevens,
KNAU and Flagstaff Festival of Science; and Rob Thames, CEO, Northern Arizona
Healthcare; giving voice to successful community investment strategies from
their diverse perspectives.
Linda Coyle, Science
Foundation Arizona Director of Education, led the discussion describing the
creation of three effective STEM Mentoring communities, in Northern (Flagstaff
– Mindy Bell), Central (Phoenix – Jessica Hauer) and Southern (Sierra Vista –
Sandee Trevino) Arizona.
Jerry Proctor, Deputy
Commandant, US Army Intelligence Corp (ret’d) led a comprehensive discussion
between business executives – Ali Applin, SenesTech; Julie Pastrick, Flagstaff
Chamber of Commerce; Steve Pedigo, Northrop Grumman Corporation; and Anne
Newland, CEO North Country Healthcare – of STEM and the changing face of the
workforce: or, how to train for jobs that didn’t exist a decade ago, and others
that don’t yet exist, but soon will.
The challenge is being met.
Here is the evidence in stronger, more successful STEM-literate communities
being built by refocusing the dialogue between government, education and
business and industry partners… in Flagstaff, the shining STEM City… on the