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APS Foundation Invests in Arizona Educational Foundation’s teachSTEM Program

Arizona Educational Foundation AEF® Arizona Teacher of the Year® News

Phoenix, Arizona, January 20, 2023 – The Arizona Educational Foundation (AEF®) is pleased to announce that the APS Foundation is investing towards AEF’s teachSTEM program to expand educational opportunities for Arizona’s youth and educators. teachSTEM is an early intervention, that not only provides access to STEM learning for students, but also builds awareness about the need for STEM teachers and job opportunities within mainstream STEM fields.

teachSTEM aligns with the APS Foundation's belief that a workforce proficient in STEM skills is critical to attracting and retaining high-quality businesses to our state. With widespread vacancies in full-time STEM teacher positions throughout Arizona, thousands of students go through high school each year without full-time math, science, and technology teachers. The teachSTEM program is designed to address Arizona's critical STEM teacher shortage by motivating junior high and high school students to pursue teaching degrees in STEM.

teachSTEM for high schools is designed and led by current and former AEF Arizona Teachers of the Year® and finalists who are STEM educators. teachSTEM pairs one of these master educators with high school CTE programs like Education Professions, Early Childhood, Career Pathways, as well as Educators Rising CTSO programs.

In Education Professions, Early Childhood, and Educators Rising, budding young teachers are introduced to the importance of STEM as part of pedagogy and inspired to consider becoming STEM teachers. In Career Pathways, students are provided experience learning STEM job skills and meeting with STEM Experts.

STEM Coaches work with students throughout the year, engaging students in hands-on STEM learning, discussing STEM workforce skills, as well as college and career options. Students also interact with STEM Subject Matter Experts to discuss real-world STEM opportunities.

“Teachers are on the frontlines of the STEM workforce,” stated Kim Graham, AEF Executive Director. " For most students, the first time they will hear the term “STEM” or learn about STEM careers will be from a teacher. teachSTEM ensures students are being taught vital STEM skills through a real-world lens, allowing them to see themselves as part of the future STEM workforce - including becoming teachers in a STEM-related area.”

“Teachers are essential to Arizona’s growth and prosperity and that’s why APS supports programs like teachSTEM that bring learning to life,” said Tina Marie Tentori, Executive Director, APS Foundation. “This is an opportunity to make an impact in addressing the shortage of STEM teachers in our state by opening up students’ minds to the exciting world of science, technology, engineering and math, the career paths these fields can lead to, and potentially inspiring the next generation of educators.”

AEF’s teachSTEM began in 2019 in four schools; in 2022, 41 schools throughout Arizona implemented this innovative program, which has impacted over 2,000 high school students.

Visit the AEF website to learn more about teachSTEM.


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About Arizona Educational Foundation, AEF®

The mission of AEF is to celebrate excellence and cultivate equity in Pre-K-12th grade Arizona public education. This is accomplished through a variety of programs for teachers, administrators, and students. Some programs shine a spotlight on excellence; others provide a stepping stone to help support schools and educators on the road to awesomeness. In addition to the Arizona Teacher of the Year® program, AEF also coordinates the Arizona State Spelling Bee, the A+ School of Excellence® Award, the Principals Leadership Academy of Arizona, teachSTEM, Our World, and Take Your Legislator to School. AEF was founded in 1983, by then State Superintendent of Public Education, Carolyn Warner, who felt a nonprofit needed to be established to champion public education and recognize the great work of public school educators. AEF annually reaches over 500,000 students, teachers and administrators throughout Arizona. For more information visit, or contact

Arizona Educational Foundation AEF® – Giving Arizona Public Education the Shine it Deserves | Everyone's Story Includes a Teacher®

­­Media Contact:

Terri Bradford, Director of Communications & Digital Strategy, Arizona Educational Foundation

Mobile: 720-468-3996 | Email:


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