Parents: Help Is Here

by Don Rodriguez

Faced with school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, families looking for quality resources to support their students learning at home now have help with the online STEM Resource Directory from the SciTech Institute.

The comprehensive directory compiles educational opportunities in a single place, organized clearly by audience and topic. 

“We want to help parents and children find other ways to explore the wonder and intrigue of science and technology,” says Jeremy Babendure, executive director of the SciTech Institute, an educational nonprofit organization focused on cultivating, promoting and enhancing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and awareness in Arizona and beyond.

The annual Arizona SciTech Festival, a collaboration of more than 800 organizations collectively holding events in more than 50 communities across the state, normally helps to generate enthusiasm and strengthen Arizona’s STEM culture through hands-on activities. This year, however, the pandemic cut the festival season short, so SciTech Institute stepped up to create a single set of resources to help fill the void.

The directory offers families access to a wealth of engaging content in an easy-to-navigate format that is fun to search and explore. SciTech’s mascot Nova showcases the site’s main categories: Science; STEM Careers; Coding & Problem-Solving; Environmental Education; Virtual Field Trips; Try This at Home; STEMonstrations; Art, Music, Videos & Learning Games; Resource Hubs; Language Arts; Math and Social Studies. 

The directory features engaging and interactive content from local organizations, including the Arizona Science Center, Phoenix Zoo, Office of the Maricopa County School Superintendent, Boeing, Phoenix Public Library, Arizona State University and i.d.e.a. Museum.

Families also can explore zoos, nature centers, aquariums, museums and national parks from around the world. Provided are links to content from leading national and international organizations, including National Geographic, PBS Kids, NASA, Mystery Science, The Kennedy Center, Microsoft, DK and Crayola. Also featured are webinars to enjoy, scientists you can connect with and hands-on activities to try at home.

To tour SciTech Institute’s STEM Resource Directory, visit Plans call for this “virtual festival of learning” to continue growing to support STEM education and collaboration throughout the pandemic and beyond.

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