2018 Cox Connect2STEM


The Cox Connect2stem awards are open for public vote. Learn about the award finalists on place your votes for those you think should win a $1,000 STEM grant. Voting will close on March 30th. Visit https://www.facebook.com/Connect2STEM/ to vote.

Innovation Award for Business:

  • Generation Tech Support: Generation Tech Support is a tech company operated by true technology experts: high school and college students! Generation Tech Support was an entrepreneurial idea developed by Shadow Mountain High School GenYES students and their instructor, Debbie Kovesdy.  The student lead company provides technology support services and help with understanding emerging technologies.
  • Edison School for Innovation: Edison School for Innovation emphasizes a STEM-based curriculum while partnering with organizations and programs that will help the school advance those goals. The school will serve Glendale and Peoria students in grades K-8 when it opens in August 2018.

Visit https://www.facebook.com/Connect2STEM/ to vote.

Student Teckie Award:

  • Alper Gel (Aspire Academy, Connolly): Students in the Chief Science Officer (CSO) Program stand out from their peers in a variety of ways.  CSO Alper, an 8th grader at Connolly Aspire Academy, stands out from his CSO peers.  As a motivated member of the program, he has worked closely with his fellow CSOs to create a survey of over 300 students and presented the findings to the Arizona Science Teacher Association.  He helped organize and facilitate an electronics workshop event, a stargazing night, presentation at Geeks Night Out and the Southwest Maker Fest.
  • Lauren Salaz (Vista Del Sur): As a Chief Science Officer (CSO), Lauren has created an exciting STEM culture on her campus to raise awareness and provided opportunities for her peers to get hands on experience with science!  The required action planning included organizing science demonstrations for all grade levels, Fun Science Fridays and a community wide STEM event for the end of the year.  She created a google hangout for all CSOs in her district and planned meetings for district wide collaboration.  CSO Lauren has also represented the Arizona CSO Program at a variety of Arizona SciTech Festival events and nationally during regional training institutes for new programs in Oregon.

Visit https://www.facebook.com/Connect2STEM/ to vote.

Teacher Teckie Award:

  • Colleen Howard (Mesa School District): Colleen is a dynamic educator willing to do whatever it takes to make things happen!  Many come to school with a plan they would like to accomplish. However, rarely will everything in the plan be completed. An outstanding educator needs to be able to accept and work around the interruptions that occur throughout the day. In addition, flexibility is key!  Colleen is dedicated to the success of each student she works with and spends the extra time when a lesson may take longer than expected!  She is willing and able to adjust her plans as necessary.  Colleen is also patient!  She is always prepared for the constant changing of schedules and maintains a respectful demeanor in the constant flux of education.  She goes above and beyond every day – to ensure her students and staff succeed!
  • John Morris (Casa Grande School District): A teacher can most often enter a classroom, pick up lesson plan, and relay the information to the students. However, this does not qualify someone as an outstanding educator. An outstanding educator requires a passion for teaching, the ability to be flexible, the gift of patience, and a desire to continue learning. John is an excellent example of this passion – a passion for education and he strives to see the children achieve!  As an advocate for his CSOs, his students, his school and in the district, John exceeds the expectations.  An educator’s job is to help the students learn, grow and mature to the greatest extent possible. In order to best do this, an educator should have the desire to continue learning themselves.  John is always looking for growth and ways he can build out of the box!

Visit https://www.facebook.com/Connect2STEM/ to vote.

Afterschool Excellence Award:

  • Paradise Valley HS Robotics Team: Team Paradise 1165 is a group of high school kids who love to build robots! They design, build, program, and test amazing creations to compete in the FIRST Robotics Challenges. They also focus on reaching out to their community to share the wonders of science and technology. Their goal is to grow the individual not only in knowledge but also in character.  Team Paradise’s mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.
  • Avondale School District STEAM Bus: On September 12, the Avondale Elementary School District showcased its new mobile science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) bus, with features that include two 3-D printers, robotics and tablets. The mobile STEAM lab is a push by the district to promote and give hands-on STEAM skills to its students as quickly as possible. The lab is a modified traditional school bus that was about to be retired. The makeover included a seating redesign, a generator, electrical outlets and wi-fi. The bus can hold 26 students and comes with a set of tables and chairs that can be setup under an awning. There are several STEAM kits on the bus as well, including MakerBot 3-D printers and LittleBits, a kit for electrical engineering and circuit design. Several programmable robots are available, as are craft building sets. The district made sure to include kits for all school levels.

Visit https://www.facebook.com/Connect2STEM/ to vote.

Creative Media Award:

  • University of Arizona: College of Medicine Phoenix- The College was created as a result of extraordinary collaboration within the community in the spirit of addressing the health care needs of Arizona. Collaboration with world-class clinical and community partners, coupled with the ever-expanding Phoenix Biomedical Campus, the College is a tremendous resource for Phoenix, as well as all of Arizona

Through community involvement, outreach and education programs and events such as science programs for underserved children to students serving patients at Wesley Community and Health Center, and public programs such as Mini-Medical School and CONNECT2STEM,  students, staff, faculty and fellows share knowledge and nurture all aspects of its diverse community.

  • Arizona Science Center: The mission of Arizona Science Center is to inspire, educate and engage curious minds through science. Indulge your curiosity with over 300 hands-on exhibits, live demonstrations, the state-of-the-art Dorrance Planetarium and the Irene P. Flinn Giant Screen Theater. Learn 3D printing, laser cutting, woodworking and sewing at CREATE at Arizona Science Center®, a community maker space.

Visit https://www.facebook.com/Connect2STEM/ to vote.