This blog was written Haley Peebles, an associate director of Grand Canyon University’s Center for Integrated Science, Engineering & Technology.
At a time when the need for science, technology, engineering and math workers far outpaces the number of graduates, Grand Canyon University is taking a creative approach to help stimulate interest in STEM careers among the next generation of graduates in Arizona.
The Ultimate STEM Showdown will bring together the best young science and engineering minds from across the state to take part in a spirited competition for a chance to win nearly $20,000 in grants for their high school classrooms, along with university scholarships.
As part of the inaugural competition, four-member high school teams will blend technical capability with creativity by designing an apparatus for the mechanical, electrical or biomedical engineering labs housed in the school’s new College of Science, Engineering and Technology. The goal of the program is to engage students and education influencers in taking a fresh look at STEM learning and potential careers in these fields, ultimately working to help close the gap between the demand for employees and the number of workforce-ready graduates.
STEM Showdown registration begins Monday, July 27 and the competition will culminate in an event on Friday, November 6 at Grand Canyon University Arena, when student teams unveil their designs and explain how they will bring their bright ideas to life.
Entries will be evaluated by a blue ribbon panel of judges comprised of industry executives, educators and public sector leaders. The top three teams will earn grants of $10,000, $5,000 and $2,500, respectively, for their classrooms. In addition, senior participants on the top teams will be awarded GCU scholarships up to $2,500.
For more information about the Showdown or to download the entry guidelines, visit gcu.edu/stemshowdown.