Teachers

Teachers constructing working vehicles using simple materials like rubber bands and Popsicle sticks.

Applications to attend the Arizona STEM Adventure are now closed. Final selections will be made by October 10th.

Please read our FAQ below for more information about the application and event!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Arizona STEM Adventure and what are the timelines for applying?

Arizona STEM Adventure will be held at the Pima Community College Northwest Campus on Friday October 28, 2016. [Note: this event replaces the FunFest previously held at the UA Tech Park and the Tucson Convention Center.]

All Grades 4-8 classes from interested schools will have an opportunity to apply and be considered for Arizona STEM Adventure.

Applications are due Sept. 21st. Final selections will be made by September 26th.

Arizona STEM Adventure will be able to able to accept 1,000 students again this year (approximately 40 to 50 classes). We hope to include classes from as many different schools and districts as possible; however, applications are considered on an individual basis. Individual responses play a large factor in our determination of how each individual teacher might provide follow-up support.

Team-submitted applications (one teacher filling out for an entire grade level) may reduce your chance of being selected. We highly encourage you to select one or two classes that will benefit most from the experience. When larger total numbers from a particular school are submitted, it makes it more difficult to fit you in.

Also note – if you participated last year (and thereby committed to participating in SARSEF last March) and did not do so, you will not be considered again for this experience.

How can I improve my chances of being selected for Arizona STEM Adventure?

Do your best job on the application provided on this site. Answer every question thoughtfully and to the best of your ability, and make sure to return it by the deadline (to be announced).

Since we can only select 40 to 50 classes, we want to make sure those who attend are serious about STEM. Therefore, a lot will depend on whether you will follow up with active participation and research. A commitment to doing science projects in the hope of being selected for SARSEF is now required to be considered.

Individual responses will play a large factor in our determination of how each individual teacher might provide follow-up support.

Team-submitted applications (one teacher filling out for an entire grade level) may reduce your chance of being selected. We highly encourage you to select one or two classes that will benefit most from the experience. When larger total numbers from a particular school are submitted, it makes it more difficult to fit you in.

A commitment to arriving on time (by 9:00 a.m.) and not having to leave early (before 1:00 p.m.) also increases your chances.

In addition, a commitment to providing a 1:8 adult to student ratio for supervision for your students while they are visiting Arizona STEM Adventure is also essential when we are considering your application. (NOTE: This excludes yourself, as you will be attending professional development during some of the event time.)

Is there a admission charge to attend Arizona STEM Adventure?

There is no admission fee, everything is free! However, classes must arrange their own transportation and students will probably need a sack lunch while attending.

What is the Professional Development I will be attending while my students are at Arizona STEM Adventure?

Teachers bringing their students to Arizona STEM Adventure will participate in two hours of STEM professional development. This professional development will focus on best practices for engaging your students in research, science and engineering projects for the Southern Arizona Research, Science and Engineering Fair in the Spring. Differentiation for teachers who have participated in the past, and those who are new to SARSEF (Southern Arizona Research, Science and Engineering Foundation) will be provided. All teachers who attend will receive data collection equipment to help open up research options for their students.

• If selected to bring students, you will be attending professional development from 9:45 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. during Arizona STEM Adventure.
• You will need to agree to complete a quick, electronic follow-up survey about Arizona STEM Adventure and the professional development provided.
And you will need to provide a 1:8 adult to student ratio for supervision for your students while they are visiting Arizona STEM Adventure. (NOTE: This excludes yourself, as you will be attending professional development during some of the event time.)
NOTE: Teachers will receive a certificate from the Office of the Pima County School Superintendent upon completion of the STEM Adventure Teacher Personal Development session.

Can we register groups other than grades four through eight?

We target grades four through eight because studies have shown that those students most benefit from the education experience at events like Arizona STEM Adventure. (Students tend to lose an interest in math and science in grades four through eight – so we want to reinforce how cool math and science can be to this age group!) We hope that you understand, and will help us by complying with these guidelines. We do have opportunities for older school groups to attend – and even participate in developing their own workshops/exhibits – but these must be coordinated with the Planning Committee well in advance.

Will you be providing bus grants?

Unfortunately, due to restricted funding, we may no longer be able to provide bus grants. Please begin investigating how your school, your PTO, Student Council, Tax Credits, or district could assist you with transportation should your class be fortunate enough to be selected.

If I don't get selected, can I sign up on a waiting list? What about if I was on the list from last year?

We will be selecting a very limited number of classes. If there is a waiting list, it will be solely based on the applications submitted this year.

Can we bring our lunches? Is there a place to eat at the Pima Community College Northwest Campus?

We strongly encourage school groups to bring their lunches, since the students will be attending until approximately 1:00 p.m. this year. You will not be able to purchase food or water. Some groups have made arrangements with school cafeterias to have sack lunches prepared for students who normally receive a meal through a subsidized lunch program. Many groups take a 20-30 minute break from the activities to eat lunch on one of the grassy areas around the Pima Community College Northwest Campus, or in a designated area. Some groups have brought coolers and left them near our registration tables, or simply stored them on their school buses until lunch time.

Will Arizona STEM Adventure be the same as the MST FunFest?

We hope to keep all of the excitement of the past and we are adding in several new exhibitors for involvement this year.
This will be a one-day event, open for everyone in Grades 4-8 to apply, and final schools selected will be by invitation only (based on applications). Since there will be fewer students, we hope to provide a more focused STEM environment. Teachers will again be involved in Professional Development, as well as enjoying time with their students. They will receive Professional Development credit and materials that may help them in their follow-up lessons and learning adventures!

How can I prepare my students so they get the most out of Arizona STEM Adventure?

Some teachers prepare journals in which students write observations as they visit different workshops and exhibits. When the teachers return to the classroom, they continue to have students share with each other what they learned and saw at Arizona STEM Adventure. Because there is so much to see, it is very likely that smaller groups escorted by parents and teachers will see different things. In fact, smaller groups may want to cover different aspects of Arizona STEM Adventure, to learn as much as possible about the wide variety of topics there.

Another way to maximize the learning experience is to make sure your students are well-behaved and attentive to the scientists at the workshops. Don’t be afraid to talk with the scientists directly, and be sure to ask lots of questions. There will be more than 200 professionals on the Arizona STEM Adventure grounds!

How do we find out what exhibits / workshops will be at Arizona STEM Adventure?

We will post the list of workshops that are registered by mid-October. However, they are subject to change. Here is a sampling of workshops that were held in the past and might be here again:

  •     The Physics Factory – with lots of fun and interactive physics demonstrations
  •     The Human Brain / Heart  (with real human brain and heart specimens)
  •     Fighter Jet Cockpit / Trainer
  •     Phun with Physics
  •     Fun with Electronics
  •     Night Vision Goggles
  •     Optical Illusions
  •     Exploring Mars
  •     Dissecting Owl Pellets
  •     Living and Working in Space
  •     Hovercraft
  •     Go Temp! Exploration and Inquiry
  •     MathMovesU – an interactive workshop demonstrating the physics of karate
  •     Women in Science
Are people paid to do this for us?

No…We rely completely on the hundreds of professional scientists/mathematicians and engineers that volunteer their own time to make Arizona STEM Adventure happen. Exhibitors are not paid, nor do the companies that they represent pay to have an exhibit at the festival. They are there for one reason: To share their love of math and science, thereby encouraging Southern Arizona’s students to learn more about the sciences. The majority of our workshops are held throughout the event, but some require you to sign up in advance, because they will only be available for a short while. Please be sure to thank exhibitors for volunteering their time to share their love of science with your students!

Can home school groups register to attend?

Absolutely! Home schools may fill out an application for Arizona STEM Adventure as a class.

Is there a required student/adult ratio?

Yes, we require an 8-to-1 student-to-adult ratio. And remember, that needs to be not counting you as the teacher, because you will be attending a free Professional Development if you are selected to attend Arizona STEM Adventure. Please choose your adult chaperones carefully since we require adults to stay with their group at all times, and be active in helping to keep students under control. We will have 1,000 people at Arizona STEM Adventure, and it can get a bit overwhelming if adults are not closely supervising their students. The energy and excitement at Arizona STEM Adventure will be amazing – and we ask that adults keep energy focused on an effective learning experience!

If I am driving a private vehicle, where do I park and how much does it cost for parking?

Parking will be free but adults are encouraged to accompany their students. Maps will be sent to those invited to attend.

How can I get other specific questions answered?

Please go through all the FAQ first, then if you still have questions, use the Contact information on the front page of this website to find out more.
Check back on this site in the coming weeks! More information may be added!

What do we do when we arrive at Arizona STEM Adventure?

More information and details will be provided if you are selected.

Why do you ask teachers to complete an evaluation?

Every year we try to incorporate “lessons learned” from teachers and workshop owners, in order to improve the next event. We also receive grants based on some of your information that are used to keep the event going. Your comments are important to us: We want Arizona STEM Adventure to be a great experience for all. Please take the time to fill out the evaluations sent if you are selected. We read each and every one of them!

How can my students thank organizers for making Arizona STEM Adventure possible?

Members of the Planning Committee and professional scientists and engineers donate thousands of hours to bring their particular math and science to life for Tucson and Southern Arizona students. They are not paid to make Arizona STEM Adventure happen; they do it because they are passionate about helping young people develop a love for math and science.

The planning committee and our sponsors love to hear from students, teachers, and even parents. Each year, we receive hundreds of thank you notes and cards, and we love reading every one of them. Please keep cards, letters, and notes coming after the event is over, and be sure to tell our sponsors what your students learned. It really does make a difference, and means so much to all our volunteers!

We look forward to your cards, letters, and teacher evaluations. We will include an address for comments in the registration packet that will be mailed out a few weeks prior to the event.

How many professional scientists and engineers will participate in Arizona STEM Adventure this year?

We anticipate that at least 250 professional scientists, mathematicians, doctors and engineers will volunteer their time and talents to make Arizona STEM Adventure possible. There are many different companies, organizations and affiliations participating, with a wide variety of sciences represented. It is truly a unique opportunity to interact with professionals who love what they do.