Through a grant sponsored in part by our Community Investment Fund program, the Eastern Arizona Science Initiative has expanded its Summer Science Camp, a program designed to motivate students to learn more about science and encourage them to seek STEM courses beyond high school. Freeport-McMoRan also supports Science City, a free series of entertaining, inspiring and educational science programs for youth in Gila Valley, designed to foster a love of science exploration. Facilitated by the Graham County Library, a different science topic is introduced in each of the four monthly classes. In addition to curriculum support, Freeport-McMoRan provides youth in the community with the resources needed to prepare for a 21st Century workplace. The Community Investment Fund has enabled schools throughout Graham and Greenlee counties to outfit classrooms with computers, laptops and other technology through our Mini-Grants for Education and STEM Innovation grant programs.
Science Camp participants, a.k.a. apprentice scientist, are presented with real-life facts or issues and follow a basic scientist method to determine an outcome. By working with members of the education and scientific communities, the youth see a glimpse of what a scientist does in the real world. Past camps have included trips to the Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area where campers learned about specific environmental factors, native plants and animals. This area is one of the few remaining habitats for several native Arizona fish species.
Apprentice scientists also have used basic experiments to study other STEM-related activities including physics, DNA blood testing and electrophoresis, and understanding how weather changes. Additionally, Freeport-McMoRan employees have shared their knowledge of certain chemical processes used in our mining operations.
“Our partnership with Freeport-McMoRan stretches beyond dollars. We freely utilize the expertise of their employees for our students and teachers. We also feel welcome in their facilities. They truly are the facilitators of STEM education in our community.”
– Paul Anger, Director of Discovery Park and the Eastern Arizona Science Initiative