Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM)


 “An expressed interest in STEM during early adolescence is a strong predictor of college degree attainment.”





What is STEM education in ADE/21st CCLC?

It is science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education that involves at least two of the STEM disciplines. Instruction is delivered in an inquiry-based, project-based format. STEM in 21st CCLC is designed to serve the “Excitement” and “Awareness” levels with a variety of topics. Family involvement and field trips are also components designed to sustain the interest in STEM. Recent assessments showed that students gained confidence in their own abilities to learn and widened their choice of careers.

STEM Club/Camp Grants (AZ Grantees Only)

Club/Camps are intended to help Arizona 21St CCLC programs that already have a commitment to STEM in the day program to significantly highlight STEM in the after school program for students and their families. The Club/Camps are delivered at school site by the Arizona Science Center and include: an after school science Club (during the fall and or spring) and a one-week summer Camp, which includes a field trip to the Arizona Science Center. The grants focus on grades 4-8 and sites that are in years 2 or 3.  A new 40-hour STEM curriculum kit was introduced in spring 2011 STEM clubs.

For more information, please contact Mary Lou Naylor at 602-364-2314.



STEM Pilot Key Factors:  AZ Science Center/AZ Department of Education Partnership

The pilot funded development, teacher training, logistics of assuring that all regions of the state are served, including Indian reservations, monitoring for continued compliance to the pilot design and evaluation.  Our partnership created what we consider a state-of-the art STEM process.

 Key components of the five-year pilot program design and findings are: 

  • Motivate students in grades 4-6 to STEM careers so that they choose to accomplish math competency prior to 8th grade
  • Fill the STEM clubs or camps with students who might not otherwise follow a math or science path, including females, minorities, students with disabilities, etc.
  • STEM is conducted at the local school by Science Center staff with a culminating event of all day at the museum with family volunteers.
  • Relate programs to local and cultural variations, particularly for Native American sites
  • Students and their families have STEM related motivation and experiences open and welcoming for their entire lifetime (AZ Science Center)
  • The program design is intended to inspire students who might not otherwise realize their potential with STEM careers and are non-threatening  (See examples of STEM variety on our website video and slides – Link above)
  • The 21st CCLC pilot teachers are qualified and are trained specifically for our pilots by science university staff in inquiry-based learning
  • (Spring 2011 and Spring 2012 pilot) The regular day teachers and the 21st CCLC pilot teachers are taught as STEM instructional partners by the same university staff in inquiry-based learning.
  • The pilot provides all STEM instructional supplies, which are enormous
  • Family engagement activities are incorporated through weekly take home experiments and a evening hands-on STEM experiments with kids
  • Research-based evaluations regarding students’ perceptions of career potential and math aptitude are conducted and reported
  • Provide experiences for business/industry, community organizations, educators, students and parents at the AZ Science Center related to STEM and motivate them to expand STEM in their various spheres of influence.
  • The goal is to impact the regular day program’s ability to implement STEM (still in pilot stage)


Read the full report – AZ Science Center/AZ Department of Education STEM Pilot Report


AZ Science Center/AZ Department of Education STEM Pilot Curriculum


Public Resources with Comprehensive Services 

Agency Website Location Field Trips** Teacher Training School-based services
Arizona Science Center* Phoenix (Statewide Services) X X X
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Tucson X X X
Biosphere 2 Center Oracle (30+ miles from Tucson) X X  
Challenger Space Center Phoenix (Peoria) X X X
Mobile Van
Desert Botanical Gardens Phoenix X Sept. only  
Grand Canyon National Park Grand Canyon X X X
Heard Museum Phoenix X X X
Museum of Northern Arizona Flagstaff X X X
Phoenix Zoo Phoenix X X X
Reid Park Zoo Tucson X X  
Wildlife World Zoo and Aquarium Phoenix (Litchfield Park) X On-line lessons  


 Check also:      

  • Other museums, observatories (such as Lowell’s Observatory-Flagstaff)
  • Local or County Libraries for special programs and free/reduced passes to events or sites
  • Local Parks and Recreation for special programs and events
  • Local cultural centers for special programs and events
  • Major employers in the vicinity for mentoring, sponsorship, teachers-from-industry
  • Vendors, publishers for STEM products; Professional organizations for conferences



Afterschool “In The News” – read about the STEM Summer Pilot Programs


“In science you can be wrong and keep on trying, but you just don’t give up.”




“I’m smart in different ways.”


“I wanted to stay [at camp] forever.”
 Contact Information
 21st CCLC Unit
Arizona Department of Education
1535 West Jefferson Street, Bin #24
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
Tel: 602-364-2349
Fax: 602-364-1938
Director: Cindy Trejo