Kyrene Traditional Academy

The Kyrene Traditional Academy (KTA) Gifted Resources students hold their blue prints of their water treatment plans. The water treatment project is part of the new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program.

Daniel Ochoa/AFN

Kyrene Traditional Academy (KTA) has been piloting its new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) project and students had their first presentation Monday morning, centering on devising a solution towards sustaining successful water treatments in a foreign country.

The nine Gifted Resources students, who are involved with the STEM project, participated in a scenario where each were given jobs of being civil engineers sent by the World Health Organization to Djibouti, an African country in need of water treatment, and presented their findings in a 10-minute presentation.

The presentation collimated into different blue prints on the construction of two water treatment facilities — waste water and water treatment facilities — which detailed the two facilities from overall size to how each component works.

The findings were presented in front of their classmates, parents and Superintendent Dr. David Schauer, who played the role of Djibouti’s president.

Preparations for the project spanned over a 10-week stretch, where students met for a 45-minute session four days a week, to finish their project.

Fifth-grader Michael Arias said they began researching the country of Djibouti and began to draw the blue prints of the two plants.

After the presentation, students hosted a Q&A about the presentation where they gave additional facts on their water treatment solution.

Being fairly new to the school, STEM was brought about by Principal Dr. Marianne Lescher, who wanted to find a program that offers innovation towards learning.

She contacted David DeStefano, an educator for 30-plus years, and began piloting the new program.

“She wanted to be the first school to put a STEM program in, and from my knowledge there is not an elementary STEM program in the state,” DeStefano said.

He said their focus on water treatment came about because it’s an element that’s so important to human survival.

DeStefano and his nine Einstein’s will begin their new project soon, which will center on building a new toy.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.