APS Foundation Awards over $2.9 Million in 2015 to Nonprofits with a Focus on STEM Education in Arizona


PHOENIXThe APS Foundation is proud to be one of the leading supporters of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in Arizona. Since 2012, the APS Foundation has focused its giving on STEM programs to benefit the state’s students and teachers. In 2015, the Foundation distributed more than $2.9 million to nonprofits across Arizona.

“APS is committed to supporting the outstanding organizations doing great work throughout Arizona, particularly in the area of STEM education,” said Tina Marie Tentori, Executive Director of the APS Foundation.  “Arizona jobs will increasingly depend on science, technology, engineering and math skills. These are the areas of study that drive today’s global economy.”

The first round of education grants was provided in June 2015 and totaled $1.4 million to 17 organizations.

Nonprofits receiving grants from the APS Foundation for STEM-related programs in the Foundation’s second round of grants for 2015 included:

  • Arizona Science Teachers Association received a grant for $86,000 for its Teacher Leadership Program, which provides access to professional development focused on research-based practices aimed at increasing student achievement, building and maintaining the leadership of Arizona science educators and providing resources and information for effective science education for students.
  • Valley of the Sun United Way received an $84,000 grant (the first of a three-year, $250,000 commitment) for its Thriving Together program, a cross-sector collaboration working together to improve academic achievement in Arizona. 
  • ASU Foundation for a New American University received two grants totaling $104,000. ASU Foundation received $24,000 for its ExSciTEM (Exploring Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program at ASU West and an $80,000 grant for its STEMSS (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Social Studies) Summer Institute for K-12 teachers. This 10-day institute trains teachers how to integrate STEMSS across the curriculum through content lectures, hands-on activities, participation in science field studies and visits to local corporations showing STEM in practice.
  • Lowell Observatory received a $56,500 grant for its Navajo-Hopi Astronomy Outreach Program, now in its 10th year. The program pairs a professional astronomer from Lowell with fifth through eighth grade reservation teachers for one school year. Astronomers visit the partner classroom to lead science discussions and hands-on activities in collaboration with the local teacher. Students also take a field trip to Lowell.
  • The Society of St. Vincent de Paul received a $50,000 grant for its Dream Center Digital Library, which will introduce young students to the practical uses of technology in STEM subjects.
  • The Southern Arizona Research Science and Engineering Foundation received a $50,000 grant to bring STEM education to 50 schools in low-income rural areas.
  • Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (SARRC) received a $50,000 grant to expand the number of teachers and clinicians educating Arizona’s autism population and supporting the educators and districts working with them.
  • West-MEC Alliance received a $50,000 grant for the APS Discover What’s Within Program, which will enrich West-MEC’s Southwest Campus with STEM programming.
  • Science Foundation Arizona received $25,000 for its Navajo Code Writers STEM Initiative, a program that will introduce computer code writing curriculum to prepare Navajo students for the global economy.
  • Experience Matters Consortium Inc. received a $15,500 grant for its Volunteers in Preparing Students for Success program that provides education and STEM career guidance to low-income high school students.
  • Yavapai College Foundation received $8,200 for College for Kids, a summer educational program providing STEM classes for children aged 5-17.
  • Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale received a grant for $6,500 for its Da Vinci Disciples and Johnny 5 Alive STEM-based programs.
  • Treasures 4 Teachers received a $5,000 grant to STEM educational kits for hands-on classroom projects.

Videos showcasing STEM success stories resulting from APS Foundation STEM investment can be viewed at

About APS Foundation

The APS Foundation is committed to making a deep impact in Arizona communities and does so through supporting statewide nonprofits that advance knowledge in the field of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. The Foundation supports a wide range of educational initiatives that target both students and teachers in order to keep the next generation of Arizona’s workforce strong and competitive.

Privately endowed by Pinnacle West Capital Corp. in 1981 as an independent 501(c)(3) organization, the APS Foundation distributes an average of $1.5 million to $2.5 million per year through a bi-annual grant process. Since its inception, it has invested nearly $38 million in Arizona nonprofits. For more information, please visit and click on the Foundation link.  

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Arizona Public Service

Media Contact: Alan Bunnell, 602-250-3376


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