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SySTEM Phoenix opens with problem-solving focus

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  • Angelica Cruz/SySTEM School

SySTEM Phoenix

SySTEM Phoenix, the first Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) focused charter middle school in Central Phoenix will open its doors August 25 with an initial class of 100 6th and 7th grade students.

The first-of-its-kind charter school, located at 1301 E. Almeria Road, will feature Problem-Based Learning curriculum, a research-based practice that engages students in solving real-world problems through an integrated math, science and engineering curriculum instead of traditional single-subject course structure.

SySTEM Phoenix opens with problem-solving focus SySTEMHP“SySTEM Phoenix was created to meet the need for a qualified STEM workforce in Arizona,” said Co-founder and Chief Operating Office, Angelica Cruz. “As a Teach for America alumni, I watched my students excel in my own classroom but then struggle in future years, particularly in math and science. SySTEM Phoenix will prepare students by giving them a solid foundation in critical thinking and problem-solving skills throughout middle and high school to ensure they excel in STEM degree programs at top colleges across the country.”

The charter school plans to add additional grade levels up to the 12th grade but cap total population at 600 students. Limiting enrollment will allow SySTEM Phoenix to maintain small class sizes of only 25 and ensure its teachers provide more individual attention to each student.

SySTEM Phoenix opens with problem-solving focus SySTEMInsideAnother unique feature of SySTEM Phoenix is the 20-foot, moveable, glass and whiteboard walls between every classroom. Designed to provide collaborative, flexible learning spaces, students can draw and write their ideas on the walls and create larger or smaller workspaces as needed.

SySTEM Phoenix graduates will be ideal candidates for STEM jobs due to their ability to think critically and collaborate with others to solve problems.

Through the Aspiring Leaders Fellowship and the Charter Starter Program, Teach for America alumni and SySTEM co-founders, Angelica Cruz and Nicole Fernandez spent two years traveling the country researching the best schools, and then adapted those systems to meet the needs of Arizona’s students.

They are part of “New Schools for Phoenix,” an initiative aimed at opening 20 “A” rated schools in Arizona by 2020, particularly in areas where few “A” schools exist.

For more information, please contact Angelica Cruz at SySTEM Phoenix at 602-200-4995 or

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