2021 STEM Grant Awards
AzCASE and Cox Communications are proud to announce the recipients of the 2021 STEM Grants for out-of-school time programs. Now in their ninth grant cycle, the STEM Grants are designed to encourage and promote the inclusion of informal STEM learning opportunities in out-of-school programs of all kinds. Grants ranged from $500 to $1500.
Thank you to all of the grant applicants for your commitment to positive youth development and informal STEM education! Grants are annual so be sure to stay tuned for details about our 2022 STEM grant cycle.
2021 STEM Grant Recipients
The following 2021 AzCASE STEM Grant Recipients exemplify “best practices” for incorporating STEM into quality out-of-school time programs. (Click the program for additional information):
“STEAMpunk Engineers is a program of Pop Goes the Classroom designed to increase Engineering Capital in elementary age students. Students will learn about the history of engineering from the creation of the wheel and axel during the Copper Age to the modern day computer. Students will be introduced to the engineers, the problems and take a journey toward the solutions that have made our lives easier. Students will have hands on experiences from creating the wheel Students will practice Engineering Habits of the Mind – identifying problems, problem solving, visualizing, improving, applying in systems thinking, and adapting.”
“Funding will provide FIRST Tech Challenge opportunities to student residents of a Bureau of Indian Education dormitory school, Kinlani Bordertown Dormitory School in Flagstaff, AZ. The project will first help educate the tribal administrators and school personnel about the STEM educational opportunities that are achieved through student participation in FIRST Robotics programs, specifically FIRST Tech Challenge. Students will be able to create and develop a FIRST robotics team that they can actively participate in during the week as an extracurricular club. The proposed project will guide them with creating an FTC team at the proposed dormitory. Funding will allow them to register a team and register for qualifying tournaments throughout Arizona.”
“Students will learn about landscape engineering, water systems, and design and engineering concepts. They will work in groups to design and create a terracotta fountain as well as use different mediums to make terracotta decorations for the garden located on the school property. Students will be given the opportunity to express creatively what they would like to see within their garden. During the final phase of the project students will work together to build and decorate the terracotta creations that will be placed in the community garden space.”
“This summer we are focusing on inquiry-based learning, design, and thinking. With the kits that are being purchased, the students will be diving into life-size construction. Students will be building seven different movable life-size vehicles along with five different science builds. On top of those projects, they will be given ten different design challenges that will inspire their individual creativity.”
“Fuller Kid Zone is launching a videography club to explore new technology in a fun and exciting way. Youth will create music videos with the help of LEGO vidiyo, and monthly showcase videos to highlight all of the program’s activities to be shared with their families. Youth will learn about the complete video editing process from start to finish, including directing, shooting, lighting, sound and editing. They will able to use their engineering skills to create the backgrounds, props and other materials.”
“Discover Your Future is the mentorship program that will use these funds to provide STEM activities to over 600 at-risk children per week for 26 weeks. The funds will be directly used to purchase Ozobots, Slime Lab, Viking Catapults and Circuit Cards for the mentorship program participants.”
“The Think Outside the Box project is creating potentially sustainable knowledge and skills for the youth to grow their own food and share with their families. The Patagonia Youth Enrichment Center is located in a food desert, which causes problems for fresh, nutritious foods to reach the tables on a regular basis. The long-term plan of the project is to provide the youth center with vegetables for the youth culinary program and to allow the youth to take home the bounty and share with families. The funding will enable the youth center to purchase quality top soil, compost materials to get started and fencing materials to protect the garden from wild animals (javelina). The manual work will be volunteered by staff, youth, and community adults.”
“In this eight-week computer science-based class series, youth ages 8-12 will learn to Mod Minecraft. Each week during the program, participating youth will have to opportunity to create and test their mods in Minecraft. The instant gratification of running their code in Minecraft gives a motivational boost to keep working through tough coding problems. Youth in this program will be introduced to Python programming. They will use Blocks (a drag and drop programing language) and Python to make changes to Minecraft. Throughout the class participating youth will compare Blocks and Python code, as well as learning programming fundamentals such as objects and classes, variables, methods, loops, and logic.”
“Young Innovators reviews several types of problems in Curiosity Creek. Participants then use their own inventions to solve the problem. Projects include engineering, science, electricity, and simple math. Projects are paired with fiction and nonfiction literature books. The Chromebooks and Lego materials will be utilized during problem solving and projects. Teen Scene activities will include Terraforming Mars, Coderbunnyz, Gravity Maze, Race to Space and Escape Evil. These games will allow teens to use code writing, physics, engineering, and terraformation in a competitive setting.”
“For the first project of TES STEAM AHEAD the students will use handheld and desktop 3D scanners to recreate real objects utilizing their understanding of ratio and scale. Students will examine real-world uses for their designs and the technology itself and use a 7-step design process to complete the projects. The second project that the students will manage in TES STEAM AHEAD will be to build robots and have a batllebot competition to understand engineering and design from start to finish. They will learn how mobile dynamics affect wear, tear and the life of an object. The final project will involve art engineering where the students will learn to operate a kiln to combine the science of local wildlife and bring it to life by creating a ceramic creature of their very own.”
“Tynkertopia will offer a Coding Mentorship Program that connects middle and high school students with elementary school students to focus on expanding creativity and inquiry skills through coding. Our program will recruit thirty 9th–12th grade students who have experience and interest in coding who will serve as mentors to the 50-60 2nd–4th grade mentees who are interested in learning to code or improving their coding skills. Our recruits will predominantly be students living in Flagstaff neighborhood with the highest ethnic and racial diversity and the highest poverty rate. Each mentor-mentee(s) group will meet twice per week over a 12-week period under the guidance of a Tynkertopia staff member. All participants will meet either virtually or face-to-face at the end of the one-year grant period to celebrate their learning and share their coding projects.”