As part of The Thunderbirds’ In the Community Conversations, 2021 WM Phoenix Open Tournament Chairman Scott Jenkins connected virtually with Arizona Science Center Chief Scientist and Curiosity Officer Sari Custer (cool title by the way). The two leaders discussed the current challenges surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and talked about how the community can rally together and support the Arizona Science Center and STEM education throughout the Valley.
The Arizona Science Center‘s CREATE Program builds a science and engineering foundation where children of all ages can experience hands-on learning in an interactive space. It teaches collaboration and inspires creativity for the young people in our communities and introduces them to STEM careers and college and career pathways to build a better future.
“Every year, we see about 500,000 people come through our building and we normally have about 300,000 people that we impact offsite as well through our teacher professional development programs,” Custer said. “As you can imagine, much like many other businesses, we’ve definitely been impacted. We’ve had to switch gears to doing strictly virtual programming.”
Custer spoke about how the Arizona Science Center aims to use the time to help parents and educators during the crisis.
“We knew there was a need to continue doing what we do and meeting our mission,” said Custer. “Helping with the parents and educators who are at home right now trying to find a way to make it work. Resources are available on our website so people can ask questions, do activities at home and have a chance to even engage strictly with our professional development team to ask questions and get tips about how to better implement learning strategies at home.”
How can the community help Arizona Science Center?
“There are three ways people can help support us,” said Custer. “The first is to share all of our information on your social channels. Secondly, if you happen to be in a STEM profession, we’d love to be able to connect with you. We might be able to use your expertise in some of those virtual opportunities we have. And third, of course, is to go to our website and make a tax deductible contribution right there at azscience.org.”
Visit https://www.azscience.org/join-give/donate/ to help support Arizona Science Center