The Navapache STEM Coalition inspired their local community to get behind STEM programming with a project that supplied Grab-and-Go STEM kits throughout the Navapache area. Through partnerships between the Navapache STEM coalition, the White Mountain Nature Center, Northland Pioneer College Kids College, Show Low Schools, Mountain Christian School, Sequoia School, City of Pinetop-Lakeside, and City of Heber-Overgaard were able to streamline easy and quick access to STEM programs throughout the Navapache region.
How did they do it?
Twenty formal and informal educators within the Navapache Innovation Council (NAIC) region teamed up to develop STEM “Grab-and-Go” kits that could be used to showcase STEM at community events. Said one teacher, “I use (the kits) when I do STEM activities for kids at WMNC and NSC events (Innovation Nation,) city events, when I substitute teach, and in robotics clubs. Activities the kids use the materials for include building bridges, making Lego structures, using polydrons to build 3-D structures, kaleidoscopes, towers, mini rockets, etc.”
Kits are housed at the White Mountain Nature Center, and are comprised of popsicle sticks, tape, Play Doh, Legos, posters of shapes, books about bridges, index cards, Polydrons, and kaleidoscope supplies. With the funding support of the AZ Rural Activation and Innovation Network (RAIN), the Navapache STEM coalition was able to purchase the materials required for the kits and ensure the Navapache region had access to science, technology, engineering and math programming.
What was the outcome?
Starting in July 2017, the Grab-and-Go Kits have been used at Town Days, Holiday Bazaars, County Fairs, Church events, and in afterschool programs. It is estimated that they have engaged over 1,500 residents of the region in STEM activities.
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.