June 16, 2024

In pandemic, Season for Sharing helped kids at home

Students take part in learning activities as part of the Arizona Science Center's STEM education programs.

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Arizona Science Center had to close its three-story downtown Phoenix building. The lockout ceased access to about 300 hands-on exhibits. Field trips from schools near and far stopped completely.

The center, however, found a way to carry on with the learning.

In July 2020, the center launched Connect, an online portal of programs focused on STEM learning and teaching. Connect has become a key learning resource for more than 20,000 Arizona students and teachers in the last fiscal year.

“There is this need to be able to continue to support STEM at home,” the center’s chief curiosity officer Sari Custer said. “Because even if you are familiar with teaching, a lot of teachers and parents, in particular, aren’t comfortable teaching science, technology, engineering and math topics.”