We often hear that it takes a village to raise a child. This was evident in a recent partnership between Kyrene School District, Science Foundation of Arizona and Arizona State University. Thanks to a generous grant and the dedication of teachers, ASU students and professionals, Kyrene middle school students were able to participate in an amazing after-school program, the ASU Citizen Scientist Engineer @ Kyrene. Once a week, students met with ASU doctoral students and got to learn in-depth about science and its impact on our environment.

Besides hands-on learning, the students got to explore the fields of science and engineering while developing innovative and creative projects. My daughters loved the program and were sad to see it conclude. Recently, participating students and their parents met at Centennial Middle School for a closing celebration. Craig Barrett, former chairman and CEO of Intel, served as the keynote speaker. His enthusiasm for science was contagious. Following Barrett’s speech, students displayed poster presentations and artifacts they created in the program. I only wish members of our Legislature were in attendance so they could see first-hand the benefits of funding education. As a parent, it’s easy to become jaded about our state’s education as we continue to see more and more cuts to valuable educational programs. Kudos to the ASU Citizen Scientist Engineer @ Kyrene program for keeping our students engaged and excelling. Also, many thanks to Barrett for spending time with our students and demonstrating a strong personal commitment to technology.

Libby Peterson

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