Yavapai College wanted to bring more science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) activities to the entire community of Clarkdale to show citizens that STEAM can be fun and accessible to all. In collaboration with state, university, county, and local assets the Yavapai College presented Xplorology, a large-scale public STEAM event in the city of Clarkdale.
What did they do?
Yavapai College organized an array of STEAM experiences in which the entire community could participate. Thanks to community sponsors and the support of the Arizona Rural Activation and Innovation Network (RAIN), the college was able to offer a free, three-hour event featuring more than 30 local businesses, organizations, municipalities and Yavapai College programs showcasing STEAM. Participants could fly drones, explore unmanned aerial vehicles, participate in stop action digital video production, take a hands-on ceramics workshop or participate in a culinary arts class. On the scientific side, participants could test flora and fauna, conduct research on snakes, and take samples of archeology finds along the river. All of these activities allowed people from the community to enjoy STEAM in an informal setting outside the classroom or typical learning environment.
And the impact was huge…
The event reached over 1,500 attendees from across the Verde Valley in May 2018, exposing nearly 35% of the community to STEAM activities. The average age of attendees was 9-14 years old; meaning this event could have impacted these young minds and inspired them to explore more job opportunities and learning experiences within the STEAM field. All of this from one activity held in a rural community!
Yavapai College and community partners hope to expand Xplorology in the future. They are working to make it a year round lecture series that will be offered at the college where attendees can experience an ever-expanding variety of STEAM programming.
The Arizona Rural Activation and Innovation Network (RAIN) is funded by the National Science Foundation to oversee grant funding for informal STEM education projects in four rural Arizona communities: Cochise County, Graham and Greenlee County, the Verde Valley, and the Navapache/White Mountains region. RAIN acts as a resource for best practices in informal STEM program development and works to highlight effective STEM programs, employers and organizations across the state of Arizona. Interested in applying for a grant? Visit our website today and learn more about the opportunities in your community.