Last evening, I was invited to attend an inspiring event during which COX Connect2STEM award winners were announced as well as an important inaugural announcement - introduction of the Chief Science Officers initiative.
My school is one of more than 50 middle and high schools to pilot the Chief Science Officers (CSO) initiative. In this role, student-body elected CSOs will work on raising campus-wide engagement in STEM by serving as the “voice” for their schools. They will work on identifying science opportunities such as speakers, field trips, science nights and ensure that these opportunities reflect the interests of their peers. They will be the contact and streamline the ability for STEM-based organizations throughout the state to meaningfully connect with their schools. In addition, CSOs will participate as a member of a state-wide “cabinet” of other CSOs to engage in Arizona’s conversation about STEM, education and the workforce. To prepare for their coming responsibilities, they will be attending a summer leadership institute, fall and summer cabinet meetings and have on-site mentorship during the academic year, all supported by the AZ SciTech Festival.
This is really exciting because of the tremendous impact this will have on bringing STEM to the forefront - and most exciting of all, spearheaded by students themselves.