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SFAz and Helios Education Foundation Select Districts and School Sites for STEM Pilot Program

Tuesday, April 9, 2013   (0 Comments)
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Science Foundation Arizona and Helios Education Foundation

Select Districts and School Sites for STEM Pilot Program

Sites will receive $1.85 million in Financial and Technical Support for STEM Programs


PHOENIX (April 9, 2013) Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) and Helios Education Foundation today announced the winning school sites selected for the Helios STEM School Pilot program. The initiative is part of a strategic partnership and investment by Helios and SFAz to help the Arizona STEM Network develop a coordinated and effective STEM education system that provides the infrastructure, resources and metrics needed to improve educational outcomes and achieve collective impact for Arizona students.


Seven sites will receive a total of $1.85 million in financial and technical support to implement STEM programs and activities during the next three years. Helios and the Arizona STEM Network, led by SFAz, released a competitive request for proposals (RFP) in September 2012. This competition was open to all public and public charter schools in Arizona. The Helios STEM School Pilot sites were selected from a statewide pool of 57 applicants that participated in the RFP. The selected pilot sites represent districts and schools in Maricopa, Coconino, Yavapai, Pima and Yuma counties and will include:


·       Alhambra Elementary School District, K-8 (Phoenix)

·       Altar Valley School District, K-8 (Tucson)

·       Bagdad Unified School District, K-12 (Bagdad)

·       Congress Elementary School, K-8 (Congress)

·       Salt River Elementary School, K-8 (Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Scottsdale)

·       W.F. Killip Elementary School, PK-5 (Flagstaff)

·       Yuma Elementary School, K-6 (Yuma)


The purpose of the Helios STEM School Pilot program is to identify models of effective implementation of STEM education teaching and learning that can be sustained, measured and replicated throughout Arizona in the future.


Helios STEM School Pilot funding and support will assist sites with the integration of STEM programs aligned with Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards and will equip teachers with the knowledge, resources and skills they will need to provide  students access to quality STEM learning experiences.


For all Arizona schools, the Arizona STEM Network has made its online STEM Immersion Guide available at to assist schools with their own STEM implementation plan regardless of their participation as a Helios STEM School Pilot site. The STEM Immersion Guide helps educators clearly articulate their goals and strategies for integrating STEM education into their schools and classrooms.


“Participating STEM pilot sites from pre-kindergarten to the high school level are helping to create a path that will shape Arizona’s education system and ready both teachers and students for Common Core State Standards,” said William Harris, president and CEO of SFAz. “The STEM education models that will be developed through the pilot will help us catalyze change in our education system to improve the state’s long term global competitiveness.”


The Helios STEM School Pilot program is part of the Arizona STEM Network led by SFAz and is designed to improve student outcomes and success rates, increase student readiness for advanced math and science courses, and better prepare students for college and career success.


“The Helios STEM school sites that have been selected through this RFP process now have an even greater opportunity to improve student academic performance by immersing their students in STEM education,” said Helios Education Foundation President and CEO Paul Luna. “But teachers and administrators across these districts will also benefit from onsite technical assistance, enhanced professional development and additional resources to aid in better preparing students to be successful throughout their academic life and through college and career.”




About Helios Education Foundation

Helios Education Foundation is focused on creating a high expectations, college-going culture in Arizona and Florida by investing in initiatives that create opportunities for postsecondary education success. The Foundation focuses its investments across the education continuum in three key impact areas: Early Childhood Education, the Transition Years and Postsecondary Scholarships.


As an engaged foundation, embedded in communities across both states, the Foundation is contributing its leadership, expertise and financial resources to better prepare students to succeed academically and to compete in a globally-competitive economy. Since 2006, Helios has invested over $125 million in education-related programs and initiatives in Arizona and Florida. For more information about the Foundation, visit


About Science Foundation Arizona

Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization initiated in 2006 by the Greater Phoenix Leadership Inc., Southern Arizona Leadership Council and the Flagstaff Forty in conjunction with the executive and legislative branches of state government. SFAz serves as a catalyst for high-wage, knowledge-based jobs and economic diversity through administration and strict oversight of research, development and education grants to public education and other non-profit research performing institutions. For more information, visit

Private donations fund our operating budget, education and research efforts.

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