Nominate teachers & students for monthly SFAz Innovation Heroes Award

April 10, 2009

By hammersmith

Science Foundation Arizona’s STEM Education Center collaborates with Intel Corporation and Rodel Foundations to Reward Academic Excellence through Innovation Heroes Awards

Call for on-going nominations of students and teachers furthering innovation excellence in science, technology, engineering
and math education

PHOENIX, April 10, 2009 – Science Foundation Arizona’s STEM Education Center (STEMAz) is launching the Innovation Heroes Awards to recognize teachers and students throughout Arizona each month for excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.  The awards, supported by Intel Corporation and Rodel Foundations, promote STEMAz’s goal to ensure a strong pipeline of Arizona graduates with science and technology skills necessary for the state to compete and prosper in a competitive, global marketplace. 

Beginning in May, STEMAz will award one outstanding teacher or student each month for significant contributions in STEM education. Award-winning students will receive a $1,000 savings bond for college and winning teachers will receive a $500 gift certificate to purchase teaching supplies.   

The categories and selection criteria include:
·    Students (K-12 and Post-Secondary) who have excelled in STEM education activities, research or academic achievement.
·    Teachers (K-12 and Post-Secondary) who are leading the fields of innovation, technology and entrepreneurship or who have instituted innovative practices or curricula to advance student success and enhance student interest in STEM disciplines and courses.

“We are pleased with the support of Intel and Rodel in furthering STEM education that afford opportunities for individual success and economic prosperity,” said Darcy Renfro, STEMAz executive director.  “As a result, we want STEM education to become widely known, understood and embraced by all Arizonans as essential in creating both short and long-term opportunities for individuals and our state.”

“Intel believes that young people are the key to solving global challenges and a solid math and science education coupled with 21st century skills such as critical thinking and digital literacy are their springboard,” said Cathleen Aubin Baron, U.S. and Arizona education manager, Intel Corporation.  “That is why we get directly involved in programs such as Innovation Heroes – to inspire and enable Arizona’s innovators.”

“A scientifically literate and technologically skilled population is essential to the future of the state,” said Dr. Ron Rickel,  Mammoth-San Manuel Unified School District superintendent.   “STEM education is critical to improving our quality of life in the decades ahead and by recognizing excellent models for others to aspire to and emulate; this award validates the vital role of STEM education.”

Nomination forms and more information are available at the STEMAz website >>  or  

Nominations are on-going and the awards made monthly.  First wave nominations can be e-mailed to Heather Wilkinson at, by 5 p.m., Monday, April 13, to be considered for the first Innovation Heroes Award being presented in May 2009.

About Science Foundation Arizona and STEMAz

Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization initiated in 2006 by the Greater Phoenix Leadership Inc., Southern Arizona Leadership Council and the Flagstaff Forty. Its goal is to build and strengthen scientific, engineering and biomedicine in areas of greatest strategic value to Arizona’s competitiveness in the global economy.  SFAz is investing in partnerships between nonprofit research institutions and industry and in the education pipeline to attract and support a knowledge-driven economy.

STEMAz   With the backing of private industry and community partnership support, Science Foundation Arizona launched STEMAz in October 2008 to enhance Arizona’s capacity and achievement in STEM education for all students. A first-rate education system must be grounded in science and mathematics to reinforce the logic and critical thinking required in a competitive, global marketplace.  STEMAz’s mission is to expand and support Arizona’s efforts to build the education infrastructure to support an innovation economy.