Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) this week released alarming results from a study conducted among educators in Arizona’s 13 rural counties about science education.
The survey convinced the non-profit, Phoenix-based group to commit $15 million over three years to providing help for rural science teachers.
The survey drew a rare 31 percent response rate and documented a “desperate” lack of money for science labs, curriculum materials and science teachers in rural schools.
As a result of this study, SFAz has identified stopgap actions to provide teachers the tools they need to improve academic achievement and develop the skills to implement Arizona’s Common Core Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.
1) Basic supplies and equipment for classrooms
2) Professional development for teachers to enhance interactive classroom skills
3) Common planning time allowing teachers to coordinate lessons
4) After-school programs with a focus on science, mathematics and robotics
Starting in the fall, SFAz will commit $15 million over three years across the 13 counties to help address the problem. Initial focus areas include Apache and Navajo counties, but funding to all counties will continue.
Founded in 2006, SFAz seeks to promote the creation of high-wage, knowledge-based jobs and economic diversity through research, development and education grants to public education and other non-profit, research performing institutions.
For more information, visit www.sfaz.org.