STEM Opportunities

Grand Canyon University (GCU) fully supports education and learning, especially as it relates to the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). It is a privilege to offer a new opportunity through the Office of Strategic Educational Alliances (SEA) called the CORE Technology Academy. SEA participants applied for the year-long project-based learning (PBL) opportunity during March and April. After reviewing the exemplary applications, it is a joy to announce 11 school groups will embark in PBL during 2014-2015, interacting with national speakers and renowned technology specialists. In turn, the school teams will bring professional development back to their school, further engaging their peer educators.   

Congratulations to the following districts and schools with participating four-member teams. We thank you for your desire to be life-long learners and dedicated educators.    

  • Cheatham Elementary – Laveen Elementary School District
  • District Office – Glendale Elementary School District
  • Dos Rios Elementary School – Union Elementary School District
  • EdKey Inc. – Sequoia Schools
  • Fireside Elementary School – Paradise Valley School District
  • Mountain View Elementary – Dysart Unified Schools District
  • Paradise Valley Christian Preparatory
  • Paradise Valley High School – Paradise Valley Unified School District
  • Sixth Grade Team – Cave Creek Unified School District
  • Sunridge Elementary – Fowler Elementary School District
  • Western Peaks Elementary – Dysart Unified Schools District

"Innovate to Serve" Grant Winners 2014

$10,000 Award
"West Phoenix Playmakes"
Western School of Science and Technology: A Challenge Foundation Academy Peter Boyle (Leader)   

Based in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), the Western School of Science and Technology offers a rigorous college preparatory program designed to help students transform the Maryvale community.  

The Western School of Science and Technology will partner with the TinyWPA program to empower youth to design, plan, and maintain playgrounds, arts spaces, and other "positive places" within lower income communities across the United States.  

The West Phoenix PlayMakes partnership between Western STEM teachers, TinyWPA and Grand Canyon University will create a sustainable project that provides immeasurable value and service to schools and communities. The West Phoenix PlayMakes space will be available for Maryvale's future generations of students to enjoy.    

$5,000 Award
"Water Mill Generator"  
Cordova Middle School (Alhambra School District) Andrew Freight (Leader)  

As a chapter of Arizona's Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) organization, Cordova's program is an afterschool club that develops engineering skills in middle school students, and one of the main components involves students developing a working water wheel.  

Students must include an itemized budget sheet of no more than $40, and are incentivized to use recycled materials in the design because the MESA program believes future ecosystems will rely on "green" and sustainable technology. Additional design points are awarded for using recycled and sustainable materials.  

This motivation for these "green" efforts is apparent when students create a water wheel that does not require new materials or manufactured parts, but repurpose pieces already available. Sustainability is taken very seriously as students work as teams to create a waterwheel that can truly be labeled as "sustainable."

For more information about participant future opportunities, please visit