Foundation dedicated to teaching STEM opens new center in Tucson - Tucson News Now

Foundation dedicated to teaching STEM opens new center in Tucson

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)

The Southern Arizona Research, Science and Engineering Foundation (SARSEF) celebrated the opening of their new center on the east side Thursday evening. 

SARSEF has helped students in Southern Arizona in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields for the past 62 years. 

They help 95,000 students of all ages each year in classrooms, through various programs and the annual SARSEF Fair.

They provide direct instruction to 32,000 underrepresented students in areas of poverty every year.

This new center will now give staff a central location to work out of and serve as a space where students can grow and learn. 

"We know that not all 95,000 we work with are going to be scientists and engineers and that's fine. We want them to take the skills they're learning though and apply it to whatever job they go into," said Liz Baker, deputy director of SARSEF.

Baker said sparking an interest among students in the STEM fields is especially important now due to the growth in demand in these fields.

"In the next five years there's going to be about 500,000 jobs in the stem field in Arizona and we don't have the workforce to fill it. And that's something we're hearing from CEOs all over our state," Baker said. 

Annalisa Minke is headed towards a career in the STEM fields. She's now a freshman in high school and has been a part of SARSEF since 5th grade. 

She said SARSEF has given her the opportunity to be more hands on. 

"Science in a classroom setting can be really really boring. As a person who loves science sometimes I think it's boring. When you're watching a PowerPoint presentation and the teacher is just lecturing away. It becomes facts and data," Minke said. 

Minke also said the programs can help fellow students discover a new found interest in science.. 

"When you start exploring and tinkering and doing stuff that uniquely sparks your interest as opposed to how the lesson plan goes. You start to find science far more relatable than any other subject," Minke said,

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