New STEM Resource Center offers teachers free classroom materials - AZEdNews
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New STEM Resource Center offers teachers free classroom materials


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Cristina Cimino, 3rd Grade Teacher At Canyon Springs STEM Academy, Uses Inspiration From The Morning’s STEM Training To Pick Out Materials To Complement Her Lesson Plans. Photo Courtesy Amazon.com.

Teachers from across the Valley got a sneak preview on April 2, 2019, of the Maricopa County School Superintendent’s STEM Resource Center, a new facility offering teachers and schools within Maricopa County free STEM materials provided by Amazon.

Along with the materials, the center offers training to integrate new approaches to lessons in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

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Maricopa County School Superintendent Steve Watson welcomes teachers to the STEM Resource Center with the help of Amazon General Manager Matthew High. Photo courtesy Amazon.com

The teachers from Deer Valley Unified and Phoenix Elementary School districts toured the 6,000-square-foot resource center in Phoenix, attended a hands-on training session and had the opportunity to “shop” for STEM materials to use in their classrooms.

Since 2018, Amazon has donated thousands of STEM-related products to support Valley teachers. The Maricopa County School Superintendent Steve Watson then distributes those items to Makerspaces, science programs and STEM labs within the county.

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Principal of Legend Springs Elementary Amy Hardy peruses through a room full of lighting and electronic components . Photo courtesy Amazon.com

“Amazon wants to encourage young people to build, imagine and innovate. We recognize that the jobs of tomorrow require a stronger aptitude for STEM skills today,” said Matthew High, general manager, Amazon. “Amazon is excited to partner with the Maricopa County School Superintendent to give teachers access to materials and resources they can use in their classrooms to inspire innovative learning in science, technology, engineering and math.”

Using the materials donated by Amazon, educational experts at the STEM Resource Center thoughtfully bundle items together to create innovative strategies for teachers to engage with their students and inspire STEM learning.

They offer free 90-minute trainings to instruct teachers on how to use the donated STEM materials to build authentic challenges that will engage their students. After the training, teachers can choose materials and resources from the center to take back and use in their classrooms.

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Cristina Cimino, 3rd Grade teacher at Canyon Springs STEM Academy, uses inspiration from the morning’s STEM training to pick out materials to complement her lesson plans. Photo courtesy Amazon.com.

“I love this partnership that provides teachers with tools and resources that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to,” said Watson. “Through this opportunity they can then provide the best STEM learning experiences for their students.”

To date, more than 2,000 teachers have benefited from Amazon’s donation through a variety of tactics offered by the Maricopa County School Superintendent, including online giveaways, STEM “challenge” boxes, Solve It Challenges, and boxes of materials delivered directly to schools to use in their Makerspaces.

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Teachers engage in hands-on STEM training inside the center’s conference room. Photo courtesy Amazon.com

Teachers can find more STEM learning information and resources at www.schoolsup.org.  

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Jenny Ferdman, 1st Grade Teacher at Legend Springs Elementary, searches high-and-low through the rows of Amazon-donated items. Photo courtesy Amazon.com

About the Office of the Maricopa County School Superintendent

The Office of the Maricopa County School Superintendent is led by elected Superintendent Steve Watson. The office is statutorily responsible to provide services supporting school governing board elections, bond and override elections, appointments, school finance, and maintain homeschool and private school records. The superintendent leverages the office to strengthen teacher voice, increase respect for the education profession, and create resources that expand the capacity of teachers, administrators, and support staff. The superintendent also oversees the Maricopa County accommodation district.

About Amazon

Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit www.amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews.