Arizona Technology Council Foundation

Connecting STEM in Arizona and Beyond

aka SciTech Institute   |   Tempe, AZ   |  https://scitechinstitute.org/

Mission

PURPOSE Put STEM within reach of every human being. MISSION Connecting business, industry, civic and community leaders to transform lives by providing access to the world of possibilities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). VISION Foster powerful and enduring networks of nonprofits, industry, academia, civic organizations, and the public to put STEM within reach of every human being in Arizona and beyond and create a more prosperous, equitable world for all.

Ruling year info

2004

President and CEO

Mr. Steven Zylstra

Executive Director

Dr. Jeremy Babendure

Main address

1438 W. Broadway Rd. Suite 101

Tempe, AZ 85282 USA

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EIN

20-1185167

NTEE code info

Leadership Development (W70)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

It is increasingly recognized that US citizens must be proficient in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) for the nation to be economically competitive globally. Yet, the 2018 National Science Board’s Science and Engineering Indicators Report (1) found that Americans’ basic STEM skills have only modestly improved over the past two decades and that our STEM-literacy is falling well behind other countries. Furthermore, minorities, particularly Latinx/Hispanic, Blacks/African Americans, and Native Americans/Alaska Natives, women, and low-income populations are significantly underrepresented in the STEM workforce (2). It is critical that communities come together to address these disparities. References (1) https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2018/nsb20181/report (2) https://nsf.gov/statistics/2017/nsf17310/digest/introduction/ (3) https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/STEM-Education-Strategic-Plan-2018.pdf

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Arizona STEM Ecosystem

The Arizona STEM Ecosystem supports science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) awareness, knowledge building, and lifelong literacy and engagement for all. It also seeks to position Arizona as a national leader in STEM and advanced manufacturing (AM) by leveraging the state’s flourishing industry base.

Founded by the Arizona Technology Council, Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona Science Center, Arizona Board of Regents, Arizona State University, and the University of Arizona in 2012, the Ecosystem is a collaborative network of over 900 organizations. SciTech Institute, the Ecosystem’s backbone organization, works with these entities to promote STEM awareness and career pathways, build leadership and employability skills, and foster a diverse pipeline of qualified Arizonans entering higher education institutions and the workforce. The network is an inaugural member of an international community of practice, STEM Funders Network STEM Learning Ecosystems, that enables practitioners to share and replicate successful STEM learning opportunities.

Impacting the Community

In the community, Arizona SciTech has a strong, positive impact on:

Businesses by identifying the most time-effective and impactful strategies to engage with the community about what they do and future career choices. 100+ businesses represented by Technology & Innovation, Aerospace & Defense, Renewable Energy, Bioscience & Health, Advance Manufacturing, and Business Services have engaged;

Schools (K-12) by strengthening relationships with local businesses, colleges, and governments and providing their students and teachers with high-impact settings to share their passion for STEM. 60+ school districts (representing 900+ schools) have engaged their communities.

Existing events by increasing attendance and diversifying content through the incorporation of science into unexpected venues and events.

Cities by convening community stakeholders and focusing on a highly-visible, STEM-based initiative. Chandler, for example, recruited a new company as a result of their engagement. Rural Communities by recognizing STEM-related partners and resources in their community.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Work status and occupations
Ethnic and racial groups
Economically disadvantaged people

In Arizona, there are over 1,300 schools serving low-income students as well as those living in poverty. While technical and educational opportunities have made significant advances in engaging these students in STEM, low-income people in the U.S. are still underrepresented in STEM professions, especially in science-related and other professional fields. Science For All, LLC (SFA) provides disadvantaged youth access to STEM resources and engagement opportunities, enabling them to gain first-hand knowledge and experience that is normally out of reach.

Through the CSO and other SciTech Institute programs, SFA is fostering development of diverse, high-tech talent through STEM events, career awareness and interest, mentorships, internships and other activities. These experiences enable youth to gain critical workforce employability skills and the experience necessary to help them become, not only STEM professionals but engaged citizens well into the future.

See more at https://scienceforallaz.org/

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Age groups
Ethnic and racial groups
Family relationships

Chief Science Officers (CSOs) are 6–12th grade students, elected by their peers to serve as STEM leaders and ambassadors in their schools and communities. Launched with 138 CSOs in Arizona in 2015, the program has grown substantially with 854 CSOs from 10 states and four countries in 2019. The CSO program continues to grow nationally and internationally every year. A key goal of the program is to place youth squarely in the center of STEM awareness, promotion, experience, and community action. Chief Science Officers work hard to:
- Help their peers experience the fun and joy of STEM learning;
- Prepare themselves and others to be diverse STEM leaders through college, careers, and civic engagement;
- Enrich school STEM culture and career awareness;
- Foster the engagement of STEM professionals and community partners in K-12 education; and
- Amplify the student voice in STEM and workforce conversations locally, nationally and internationally.

In schools, CSOs advocate for and provide STEM experiences responsive to their peers’ interests. In the community, they serve as thought leaders and ambassadors, working with school boards, government, business and industry to promote STEM awareness and engagement. The program empowers youth to chart their own trajectory, provides opportunities for them to develop a STEM identity, and expands access to STEM education and opportunities for underserved, at-risk and underrepresented students. Leadership training prepares them not only for their roles, but for an ever-increasing global workforce. It builds confidence and provides the tools and knowledge youth need to become STEM professionals and champions in their local communities and beyond.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Children and youth

The annual Arizona SciTech Festival is a statewide celebration of STEM that aims to inform, engage, and inspire all Arizonans. Held January through April every year, the festival advances STEM awareness and highlights its economic importance by offering participants a variety of events and hands-on learning opportunities. These events and activities provide individuals of all ages the chance to experience STEM first-hand and see how it impacts their lives.

The Arizona SciTech Festival ranked as the third-largest science and technology festival in the nation from 2016 – 2019. In 2019, Arizona’s 900+ partners hosted more than 3,000 events in 80 communities showcasing STEM and innovation in Arizona. These events reached more than 560,000 people. Festivals are especially effective for engaging rural communities, as they leverage and promote local business, industry, education, civic and community organizations. Regional festivals enable these entities to highlight their STEM connections and provide residents with insights into the economic engines of their communities.

RAIN (Rural Activation and Innovation Network)

RAIN helps STEM gain traction in rural regions of Arizona through STEM engagement. RAIN supports rural STEM festival events, community projects and educational opportunities. In partnership with Arizona State University, the Arizona Science Center and the Lifelong Learning Group of COSI, RAIN creates a bridge between STEM leaders and four rural communities to strengthen the pipeline between these students’ education and pursuit of future jobs in STEM.

SciTech Institute has also inspired and supported collaborators beyond Arizona. For instance, collaborators teamed up with the state of Sonora, Mexico to launch a statewide Sonora SciTech Festival. These efforts have inspired additional efforts in Bogota, Columbia as well.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Families

The Arizona Advanced Manufacturing Coalition (AAMC) strengthens Arizona’s advanced manufacturing (AM) workforce pathways by engaging stakeholders, including but not limited to K-12, community college and university education institutions; civic and community organizations; workforce and economic development groups; and AM industry businesses, to promote awareness and benefits of AM careers.

Mission
To provide opportunities for the advanced manufacturing industry to connect with students, inspire their natural curiosity and fuel their passion for STEM by introducing them to STEM career opportunities available in advanced manufacturing.

Goals
Create a pipeline of tomorrow’s Arizona advanced manufacturing professionals.
Foster communication and collaboration within the advanced manufacturing community.
Enrich school STEM culture and career awareness.
Raise public awareness of STEM career pathways in advanced manufacturing.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Students

The Arizona middle and high school Science Bowls, a SciTech Festival signature event, are statewide Jeopardy-style competitions focused on STEM topics. The events are open to all Arizona and Nevada middle and high school teams and are held at the Arizona State University (ASU) west campus in partnership with ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences and the School of Mathematical and Natural Science.

The competitions draw over 32 teams of four to five students, reaching over 320 students each year. The Science Bowl is nationally facilitated by the U.S. Department of Energy with regional winners going on to compete at the national event in Washington, D.C.

Arizona Science Bowl events reach thousands of students, successfully promoted excellence in STEM education, and furthered the development of a world-class workforce. Thank you to our primary sponsor of these events, Solugenix. The 2020 Arizona Middle School Science Bowl Winner was BASIS Peoria. The High School Winner was BASIS Chandler.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Children and youth

The National Counting Bee™ is an annual, fast-paced and exciting competition in which contestants are asked to calculate a broad selection of skip-counting patterns with a varying degree of difficulty. It is open for K-12 students at all public, private, charter and home schools. The top 10 students from each age group and category then compete. The launch of the National Counting Bee competition is scheduled for November 2020.

Created by Scott Flansburg, “The Human Calculator®” (a nickname given to him by Regis Philbin), the program’s mission is to help students improve basic arithmetic skills and promote numeracy. Contestants compete against others in their age group or category to progress to the next level. During each round, contestants list as many multiples of a random starting number by the level they are competing in within 15 seconds. A minimum of seven correct answers are needed to advance. Scoring is calculated by subtracting the starting number from the last correct answer calculated. For example, the contestant starts at 4 and counts by 3 (starting level). The last correct answer within the 15 seconds is 34. Therefore 34 – 4 = 30 points. The cumulative total of all level scores is the contestant’s final score.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work

Accreditations

Certificate of Good Standing 2017

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Arizona Technology Council Foundation DBA SciTech Institute is dedicated to building a foundation that fosters lifelong STEM literacy for all human beings. Our goal is to enable a diverse, knowledge STEM workforce pipeline that not only contributes to our nation’s economy but become informed, active consumers and citizens.

Since 2012, SciTech Institute, in conjunction with the Arizona Technology Council, Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona Science Center, Arizona Board of Regents, Arizona State University, and the University of Arizona, has built a network of over 900 collaborators from business, industry, academia, and civic, community, and government organizations. This statewide network fuels workforce pathways, bridges informal and formal STEM learning, engages underserved populations, and supports rural and urban community programs. Rather than acting as a bureaucratic organization, the Arizona STEM Ecosystem supports communities’ existing STEM resources and efforts, providing avenues to grow their programming. This structure promotes sustainable STEM awareness and engagement that is responsive to a community’s unique needs. Importantly, the Ecosystem leverages existing partnerships and connections to more effectively connect the dots for the state both locally and regionally.

Financials

Arizona Technology Council Foundation
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Arizona Technology Council Foundation

Board of directors
as of 10/29/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Robert Witmer

Honeywell (Retired)

Term: 2120 - 2122

David Alberty

AFS Technologies, Inc.

Lorenzo Chavez

Arizona State University

Angie Harmon

Freeport-McMoRan

Diana McMahon

Salt River Project (SRP)

Jeff Unruh

Alerion Capital Group, LLC

Robert Witmer

Honewell (Retired)

Renu Navale

Intel

Jon Talcott

Ballard Spahr

Wilman Vergara

KNOSIS

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/29/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/29/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.