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The first time most students hear the term "STEM" or learn about STEM careers is usually from a teacher.


AEF's teachSTEM initiative is a groundbreaking program 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 school: is a partnership between AEF and the Arizona Department of Education's Educators Rising Arizona, a Career and Technical Student Organization for students interested in education professions.

STEM Explorers for middle school: Eight lessons have been designed for teachers of 5th to 8th grade students to learn about STEM careers, including teaching. Access the free materials here.

According to Educators Rising research, 60% of all high school teachers work less than 20 miles from where they attended high school. teachSTEM has the potential to not only inspire students to become STEM teachers, but to return home to their own communities as educators.

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The first time students learn about STEM or STEM careers is usually from a teacher.


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. 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 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 an area high school's Educators Rising program as a STEM Coach. STEM Coaches work with students throughout the year, engaging students in hands-on STEM learning, discussing STEM workforce skills, college and career options. and providing students with access to STEM Subject Matter Experts to discuss real-world STEM opportunities.

teachSTEM Explorers is a self guided series of lessons designed to facilitate STEM career exploration for students in 5th-8th grade. These eight lessons, designed by 2022 Arizona Teacher of the Year, Nancy Parra-Quinlan, will guide you and your class through a career adventure, helping your students understand a fuller menu of STEM career possibilities! Each lesson has a guide and a slide deck. Teachers are able to use several or ideally, all of the lessons to help their students understand the wide variety of STEM careers.

Access teachSTEM Explorers (Grades 5th-8th) Here

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For more information, contact Dr. Teresa Hill at teresa@azedfoundation.org.