As the Arizona SciTech Festival events begin to wind down for the year, it is fun to step back and look at some of the highlights. One of the big events was at the kick-off conference that took place in September. A panel of community leaders in the area of education came together to discuss how parents can support their children in STEM. Among the panelists was Tracy Rexroat, well known throughout the West for her contributions to education in manufacturing and engineering.
What Is the Arizona SciTech Festival Conference?
With the main events held every year in February and March, the Arizona SciTech Festival is a celebration of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) taking place throughout the state. Arizonans from the ages of 2 to 102 will find something to love at this event. In every corner of Arizona, there are more than four hundred exhibitions, workshops, tours, conversations, and expos held in a diverse array of neighborhoods.
A grass roots collaboration of over 450 organizations in community, arts, industry, grade schools, civic, and academia, Arizona SciTech Festival looks at how STEM will drive the state for the next century. The event is spearheaded by
- The University of Arizona
- The Arizona Technology Council Foundation
- Arizona Commerce Authority
- Arizona State University
- Arizona Board of Regents
- Arizona Science Center
How Parents Can Support Their Children in STEM
At one of the kick-off events in Scottsdale, a panel of six panelists – Tracy Rexroat, Cathryn Creno, Gordon Brown, Rebecca Gau, Donna Davis, and Stephanie Brown – discussed how parents can help support their kids in the STEM studies. Parents are often told to engage their kids, but that is a rather nebulous term. The panel tackled how engagement may look in terms of helping kids with STEM work.
Both in and out of school, the panel stressed, there are resources available to parents to help their children get more excited about STEM. This was a particularly apt discussion, since one of the activities parents can take their children to in order to pique their STEM interest is the Arizona SciTech Festival. The panel did a great job of putting parents at ease by providing many simple steps for getting involved in their child’s learning experience while trying to tacking the many competing priorities they face.
Tracy Rexroat, who is one of the great educators in the West, serves as a board member for the Arizona Manufacturers Partnership and the Arizona Nanotechnology Cluster and is secretary for the Arizona Precision Manufacturing Apprenticeship Program. During the panel discussion, she had many positive contributions. Her favorite part of the event was the way it brought families together.
“When kids want to attend Festival events, the whole family goes,” Rexroat said. “This allows them all to bond over something positive and educational that is also fun.” Through her participation in the September kick-off conference, she was one of the big reasons why children and parents were able to bond and develop a positive connection around STEM.