2018 Cox Connect2STEM

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The 2018 Cox Connect2stem awards winners were recognized on May 2nd, 2018 at the Arizona SciTech Festival celebration event. Over 500 people were in attendance while each winner was congratulated for their outstanding work to advance STEM. To learn about each award winner, please see the videos below.

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. One example is CSO Alper, an 8th grader at Connolly Aspire Academy. As a motivated member of the program, he has worked closely with his fellow CSO’s 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, a presentation at Geeks Night Out and the Southwest Maker Fest.

Chief Science Officer Award

Elaina Ashton (AZ College Prep Academy): The Chief Science Officer award recognizes this outstanding CSO for the 2017-2018 school year. CSO’s are students elected by peers in 6th to 12th grade to be a liaison for STEM and innovation in our schools and community. Their mission is to:

• Be the voice for their schools
• Bring STEM opportunities to their peers
• Bring change to the community

Teacher Teckie Award

John Morris (Casa Grande School District): A teacher can most often enter a classroom, pick up a lesson plan, and relay the information to the students. However, these skills alone do 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 CSO’s, 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!

Innovation Award for Business

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.

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, 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.

Afterschool Excellence Award

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 set up 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.