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News from the Education Foundation

Posted: January 8, 2015

$15,000 Success Award Goes to Multi-School STEM Project

The APS Education Foundation also awards a $10,000 Success grant to Manzano for a math-based project.

A multi-school, multi-cluster project aimed at improving students’ proficiency in science, technology, engineering and math was the big winner in the APS Education Foundation’s first Success Award grant.

Jointly submitted by staff members at West Mesa and Valley high schools, the $15,000 award will help both high schools – but also students at middle and elementary schools in their areas.

The winning project is called the STEM Trajectory Initiative. The project hinges on cooperation from a variety of schools, and focuses on giving hands-on, project-based opportunities such as robotics, high-altitude balloon launches and rocketry.  The goal of the initiative is to graduate more students who are able to go directly into the workforce, technical school or college without requiring remediation.  

“We had a variety of proposals from throughout the district, many of them innovative and focused on large numbers of students – not just a classroom or two,” said Foundation Executive Director Phill Casaus. “The committee that looked at these ideas felt this one really had promise.”

The Disbursement Committee of the Foundation, composed of more than a half-dozen members of the board of directors, judged the proposals. All traditional district schools and schools of choice were eligible.

In addition, a math-based project at Manzano High School also was awarded $10,000.

Success Awards are in their first year and were aimed at helping larger, school-wide needs that didn’t depend on a limited amount of classrooms. Casaus said the Foundation hopes to fund similar project in the next school year through the Foundation’s Broader Horizons Campaign, which raises money to help students, teachers and schools through awards and grants.