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SARSEF tries to bring joy and wonder to education

SARSEF tries to bring joy and wonder to education

  • Updated

SARSEF’s mission is creating Arizona’s future critical thinkers and problem solvers.

In a year of turmoil and loss, SARSEF continues to find ways to bring sparks of joy and wonder to science education.

This is not a small feat in 2020 — teachers and parents have faced an ever-changing landscape as they navigate the balance between safety and learning.

Some districts made the hard decision to cut science altogether from classrooms for an extended amount of time. For teachers who could incorporate science, many found it difficult to provide hands-on, meaningful science experiences when unable to guarantee a student learning from home would have the supplies needed.

SARSEF’s mission is creating Arizona’s future critical thinkers and problem solvers through science and engineering. Now, more than ever, the development and use of creative problem solving is a priority, and SARSEF has had to do a lot of it themselves to meet the immediate needs of teachers, parents, and students.

And that’s exactly what they did.

In-school programming was reworked to actively lead students through research they care about while providing resources and much needed relief to teachers.

SARSEF built and released schoolfairs.sarsef.org, a free online platform for Arizona schools to host their science fairs online so that caregivers, relatives, judges and friends can all celebrate the incredible work of students from the safety of their homes.

As a precaution against the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the annual Christmas en el Barrio used a drive-thru style format to handout toys, gift cards and other items to children and families at the Tucson Rodeo Grounds, on Dec 18, 2020. At 9 a.m. when the event officially kicked off there were over 150 vehicles in line. Over a thousand were expected to come through by the end of the day. A limited number of volunteers, which added up to just under 50, were present from Nova Home Loans and other community supporters to help welcome vehicles and organize and distribute over $1,600 worth of toys. (Josh Galemore / Arizona Daily Star)

The Arizona STEM Adventure field trip at Pima Community College was reworked into a virtual week of hands-on science and connecting with professionals who work in science, technology, engineering, and math. Supplies for 12 different hands-on science experiments were delivered to 1,700 students in Arizona.

Giving students and teachers an opportunity to do hands-on science together mattered. One student shared that it was “the most fun he had this year!”

Teachers recognized the success in times of virtual learning, and also how this kind of support is always needed, even after the COVID-19 pandemic ends. “This was so helpful for teaching. I hope you do this every year. Some teachers cannot afford to buy all the materials and put them together for so many students,” one teacher shared.

SARSEF is committed to passion and joy. They hope that with these sparks of joy, they can remind teachers they are superheroes. They can remind students about the importance of curiosity and the excitement of learning. SARSEF commits to partnering with teachers and schools to provide quality science education that lifts communities.

With your tax credit, we can continue to benefit children in our community with sparks of joy in the process of learning. We can build a future of critical thinkers and problem solvers who understand the importance and thrill of science.


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