Sunnyside girls explore STEM education and careers with free camp | Education


Sunnyside Unified School District middle school girls spent part of their summer vacation immersing themselves in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields by attending a camp hosted by the Southern Arizona Research, Science and Engineering Foundation.

The Applied STEM Career Exploration Camp (ACES), held July 11-15 at no cost to attendees, is designed to allow students to explore a wide variety of careers and spark their interest in higher education in STEM fields. It also underlines that women are essential in every career, SARSEF organizers said in a press release.

This year, the camp hosted a total of 40 campers who visited STEM centers across Tucson to participate in immersive, hands-on tours and activities. Some of the tours included the downtown campus of Pima Community College, the University of Arizona, and Sonora Quest Laboratories.

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Campers also toured an autopsy room, where they were able to examine preserved human organs for educational purposes.

And to combine entrepreneurship with STEM activities, students engaged in a “Shark Tank” activity in which they explored the process of designing, creating and financing a new product made from recycled materials.

After operating for more than a decade, ACES Camp has served more than 500 participants, some of whom have gone on to become engineers or scientists. To learn more about ACES Camp, visit

Education Award Nominations

The application cycle for the Raytheon Leaders in Education Award is open until September 12.

The program recognizes and rewards Pima County pre-K through 12 teachers who achieve outstanding performance in the classroom, demonstrate leadership in their schools and communities, and support their peers.

The judges will evaluate the entries, narrow them down to 12 finalists, and ultimately choose four winners: one representing kindergarten, one for grades K-5, another for grades 6-8, and the final one representing grades 9-12.

The four winners will each receive a cash prize of $2,500, and an additional $2,500 in matching gifts will be presented to each winning teacher’s respective school. Finalists will each receive $500.

To find eligibility requirements and application materials for the Raytheon Leaders in Education Award, visit

New director appointed

Casey Robinson was appointed high school principal for Desert Christian Schools, a private institution on the east side of Tucson.

Robinson has more than 20 years of experience in education, according to a press release. She received a Bachelor of Education from the University of New Orleans and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University.

Most recently, she served as Director of Admissions at Pusch Ridge Christian Academy.

“Educating the next generation is an honor and a privilege,” Robinson said in the Desert Christian Schools press release. “My desire is to see our students grow in their discernment; be able to evaluate what they learn and think critically as they move into adulthood.

Desert Christian was founded as a high school in 1986 and has since grown to include a second K-8 campus.

Have questions or advice about K-12 education in Southern Arizona? Contact Genesis reporter Lara at [email protected]


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