RAIN project provides grants for Graham and Greenlee counties’ STEM activities

Contributed Photo: RAIN project provides funding for STEM activities.

Contributed Article

GRAHAM COUNTY – Graham and Greenlee counties combined are one of only four rural regions across Arizona selected to receive $50,000 per year for an unprecedented four-year community STEM education project.  The project will ultimately result in $200,000 funneled to funding STEM events in our region by providing grant opportunities of up to $5,000 for educators and groups throughout Graham and Greenlee counties to promote new and innovative extra-curricular science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities.

The grant applications are not limited to schools. If you have a great idea for a sustainable summer, weekend, or after-school STEM activity or project, the Graham & Greenlee County Rural Activation and Innovation Network (R.A.I.N.) Grant is here to help you.  Grants are available from $100 up to $5,000.  For more information visit www.4azrain.org. The RAIN website also contains the grant application, a rubric to qualify your proposed event and frequently asked questions about the grant and application.

Contributed Photo: The projects work hand-in-hand with Eastern Arizona College.

The Rural Activation and Innovation Network (RAIN) is led by Arizona State University and the Arizona Science Center and funded by the National Science Foundation to help rural communities in Arizona collaborate and develop STEM learning experiences.

The project is directed locally by Eastern Arizona College’s Dr. Phil McBride, Dean of Instruction, and a committee of local community leaders who strive to develop STEM education projects and experiences for community members of all ages in our region.

“The main goal of the Graham and Greenlee Regional Innovation Committee of RAIN is to and create a network of community members and local businesses and experts to participate in impactful activities to strengthen the community and inspire our youth towards STEM-related education and careers,” McBride said.

Contributed Photo: Children enjoy a science experiment. 

Paul Anger, Director of the EAC Discovery Park Campus, Chair of the Eastern Arizona Science Initiative (EASI) and RAIN Committee member explains that “the most exciting part of this grant program is that it not only provides STEM activities for our local youth, but also for their siblings, parents, and even grandparents. It’s to promote STEM to the whole community, so we can recognize how STEM is an important part of everyone’s careers and lives”.

A committee of local community leaders, known as the Graham and Greenlee Regional Innovation Committee (GGRIC), comprised of members affiliated with local school districts, Eastern Arizona College, local libraries, First Things First, Graham and Greenlee counties’ chambers of commerce, Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center, Freeport-MacMoRan, local industry and small businesses.

Look for more information about GGRIC and RAIN programs at community events, and like RAIN on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Arizona Rural Activation and Innovation Network/ to keep track of all upcoming events.

For more information contact Paul Anger, EAC Discovery Park Campus Director and representative for these partnerships, at paul.anger@eac.edu.