An Arizona 7th-grader’s idea to create a “National Technology Field Trip” to connect students with private industry and higher-education organizations is becoming a reality this week.
Sage Foreman, a 13-year-old “Kid Science Advisor” who attends Centerra Mirage STEM Academy in Goodyear, Ariz., had pitched his idea to Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and the White House last year as a way to advance science and technology in Arizona and beyond.
This week, more than 1,100 Arizona students are taking part in the educational field trips. More than a dozen Arizona companies and organizations have joined on as partners and are opening their doors to deliver hands-on learning for students interested in tech-based careers.
The companies and organizations include: Honor Health, Translational Genomics Research Institute, Pinnacle Transplant Technology, Paypal, ASU Biodesign, ASU LeRoy Eyring Center for Solid State Science, University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix, Delta Technology, Grand Canyon University, Honeywell, State Farm Advanced Business Learning and the Arizona Air National Guard’s 161st Air Refueling Wing.
In October, Governor Ducey hosted the inaugural Chief Science Officer Capitol Summit in which 200 Chief Science Officers (CSOs) representing 120 schools from across Arizona learned to advocate on policy issues such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The students collaborated with experts in the legislative process and pitched their ideas to the Governor.
Sage presented his idea to Governor Ducey at that summit.
“More than 1,100 students will have benefited from these field trips and hopefully some of them will end up working for a company they visited during National Technology Field Trip Day,” Foreman said. “If I could do this as a student, an organization with greater reach could help spread this idea across the nation!”
“We are so proud of students like Sage and others involved in the CSO program, who are doing an amazing job engaging students with private industry and contributing to Arizona’s growing STEM culture,” said Sandra Watson, Arizona Commerce Authority President, and CEO. “Sparking our young people’s interest in STEM is critical to sustaining our innovation economy.”
The CSO program was launched last year by Dr. Jeremy Babendure and his team at Arizona SciTech, which is a division of the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA). The CSO program, a collaborative initiative of the ACA and the Arizona Technology Council Foundation, is the first of its kind nationwide, empowering students to become ambassadors for STEM education. Through the program, 6th- to 12th-grade students are elected by their classmates to serve as STEM liaisons for their community, private industry, and tech-based organizations.