Queen Creek teacher receives STEAM grant

Posted 1/16/23

A teacher at Casteel High School has won a $2,500 grant for STEAM initiatives.

Intel Corporation, YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix and Salt River Project recognized three educators and 18 nonprofits as …

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Queen Creek teacher receives STEAM grant


A teacher at Casteel High School has won a $2,500 grant for STEAM initiatives.

Intel Corporation, YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix and Salt River Project recognized three educators and 18 nonprofits as participants of the Equity in STEAM Initiative 2.0 cohort. The initiative invested $120,000 toward closing the gap for women and people of color in Arizona’s STEAM industries, according to a press release.

Nationally, Black and Hispanic women are 16% of the U.S. population but make up only 4% of scientists and engineers in the country.

“I am hoping to encourage girls to pursue careers as scientists, engineers, robotics, and more. The Equity in STEAM grant will help prepare our students for a bright future after high school,” stated Robin Flyte, a science teacher at Casteel High School, in the release.

Flyte will be using the grant money to purchase Sphero's Little Bits kits for her classroom.

The 2.0 cohort includes seven returning grantees from last year’s inaugural cohort and 14 new grantees who will be awarded grants between $2,500-$3,000. Grants will fund a variety of programs including robotics programs and leadership workshops aimed at inspiring underrepresented communities to explore a career pathway in the industry. 

Along with Flyte, a teacher at Kyrene de la Estrella Elementary School and another one at Phoenix Elementary School District No. 1, both in Phoenix, received a grants.

“With the growing technology industry in Arizona, it’s critical our students, the next generation, know they belong in STEAM, regardless of the zip code they call home,” stated Jennifer Sanchez, community affairs manager at Intel Arizona.

The 18 nonprofits receiving grants are:

  • Aguila Youth Leadership Institute
  • Arizona Alliance of Black School Educators
  • Arizona Kids THINK Too
  • Arizona Students Recycling Used Technology (AZ StRUT)
  • Arizona Sustainability Alliance
  • Chinle Planting Hope
  • Cultural Coalition Inc.
  • Education Empowers Inc.
  • Faith Missionary Baptist Church
  • Friends of the Avondale Libraries
  • Future for KIDS
  • Future Stars Inc.
  • Lights Camera Discover
  • Mo-Energee Youth Foundation
  • Rising Youth Theatre
  • Si Se Puede Foundation
  • Sounds of Autism
  • Vessels of Possibilities

“Diverse experiences and voices bring forward innovation, and these 21 grantees are blazing a path for students, people of color, and women to become creators, leaders, and gamechangers in their future careers,” stated Andrea Moreno, community stewardship program manager at SRP, in the release.

In addition to receiving grants to fund programs and resources, awardees will join the YWCA Equity Leadership Learning series, which includes four Equity Workshops to facilitate conversations and exploring the intersection of social equity and STEAM.

Upon completion of the first Equity in STEAM Initiative Leadership Series last year, the inaugural cohort reported the following results:

  • 95% of participants feel more comfortable discussing racial and social equity topics, up from 59% when the initiative started.
  • 72% of participants feel more confident in implementing culturally relevant solutions, up from 35% when the initiative started.

“There is plenty of space in the pipeline for people of all cultures and communities to thrive. The Equity in STEAM Initiative 2.0 cohort is making a powerful difference to break down the barriers and inspire the next generation to believe in their talent,” stated Debbie Esparza, CEO of YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix.

Queen Creek, STEAM, Intel, YWCA, SRP