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Alan Bunnell
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​january 8, 2018   
aps, phoenix suns help bring innovative hands-on stem learning to 6,000 arizona students   
arizona teachers receive classroom grants totalling $50,000   
PHOENIX – Arizona is blessed with a number of educators who inspire students in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). APS and the Phoenix Suns are teaming up to help these teachers bring innovative hands-on STEM learning to 6,000-plus students through financial grants totaling $50,000.   
    
The grants were recently awarded to 25 elementary and high school teachers across Arizona – including Phoenix, Flagstaff, Yuma, Prescott Valley, Casa Grande and many others. These grants will be used by teachers to provide a wide range of STEM-related content, including robotics, gardening, water harvesting, computer coding and even designing and building classroom furniture. The intent of the grants is to spark the next generation of STEM professionals.    
    
“These grants are relatively small, but they can make a big difference to a teacher with an innovative idea on how to get students interested in math and science. This year’s applications were especially creative,” said John Hatfield, APS Vice President of Communications and Community Affairs. “These programs are so important because many of the best jobs in Arizona’s economic future will require technical skills.”     

For the past 12 years, APS and the Phoenix Suns have partnered to promote STEM education in Arizona schools by annually awarding $50,000 in mini-grants for hands-on projects focused on STEM subjects. The grants were available to all kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers in public and charter schools in APS service territories. The funds support inventive, student-based projects aimed at sparking students’ curiosity and getting them excited about STEM subjects.
    
“This STEM mini-grant will allow our students to combine critical thinking and creativity,” said Jonathan Perrone, a STEM mini-grant recipient and STEAM Instructor at Mountain Sky Middle School. “Our particular grant will allow our students to design new desks and tables for our STEAM Lab. Students will use computer-aided design software to model their prototypes, then they will be able to build desks and tables with furniture pipe and wooden surfaces.”   
    
A complete list of grant recipients (alphabetized by community and school) follows below with a description of each teacher’s project and the grant amounts awarded:   
    
About APS   
APS serves about 2.7 million people in 11 of Arizona’s 15 counties, and is the Southwest’s foremost producer of clean, safe and reliable electricity. Using a balanced energy mix that is nearly 50 percent carbon-free, APS has one of the country’s cleanest energy portfolios, including both Palo Verde Generating Station and renewable energy. The company is also a proven leader in introducing technology and services that offer customers choice and control over their energy consumption. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW).​
    
About the Phoenix Suns   
The Phoenix Suns are Arizona’s original sports franchise and are celebrating their 50th season in the Valley during the 2017-18 NBA campaign. Since entering the league in 1968, the Suns have been regarded as one of the most successful NBA franchises on and off the court. Phoenix is led by Managing Partner Robert Sarver.  
​"These programs are so important because many of the best jobs in Arizona's economic future will require technical skills."   
- John Hatfield, APS Vice President of Communications and Community Affairs