Our increasingly complex world needs thinkers and problem-solvers to meet our future challenges. Our schools must prepare students to invent solutions to problems we don’t even know about yet, and provide the training that future employers will need. However, most schools lack the budgets to provide these types of skills, and teachers do not have the time or training to integrate STEM and current research methods into their lessons. Because of this, gaps in diversity of those pursuing high-demand, high-paying STEM occupations persists. If we are to have successful children – who will be our future workforce – we need to provide equal opportunities for all – engaging females, minorities, and/or low-income students in STEM; students who often think careers in science, engineering, and other STEM fields are “not for them”. SARSEF’s programs teach and encourage underrepresented populations and have proven results in increasing interest in STEM. A recent participant, Amanda Minke, stated, “The base that SARSEF gave me allowed me to go to college and pursue my dream, which is to help people.” Amanda commented that without SARSEF, she would not have gone to college. Instead, she is now at the University of Arizona with a full scholarship, studying how to create clean water for communities worldwide.
Continued contributions ensure students across the state of Arizona have the training and support of SARSEF so one of them may someday create a cure for cancer, save an endangered species or solve a social problem before it starts. Our world needs solutions to big problems – and SARSEF can help train the future generation that will be the ones that find them.