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Welcome to the STEM Immersion Guide


About the STEM Immersion Guide

sidebarSTEMx-seal-2017---BluesmThe STEM Immersion Guide was created as a tool to help educators establish and implement a vision for 21st century schools and classrooms in Arizona. It is written as an over-arching framework to help chart a course for integrating STEM education in Arizona schools and districts. The STEM Immersion Guide contains key design elements that support project-based, interdisciplinary STEM instruction by providing practical tools and information to enable teachers, schools and districts, and administrators that want to improve student outcomes by integrating STEM.

Where do I get started?


Starting and implementing a STEM program will be an exciting adventure for everyone involved!  The Arizona STEM Network, in partnership with Maricopa County Education Service Agency (MCESA), has created the STEM Immersion Guide as a framework to guide educators in Arizona and across the nation through the process of developing STEM programs.  The Guide contains four levels (or models) of immersion, from Exploratory, Introductory, Partial Immersion, and Full Immersion.  Listed under each of these models are key design considerations specific to six targeted categories: Leading, Teaching, Learning, Evaluating, Budgeting, and Sustaining. 

What is the history of the STEM Immersion Guide and how is it used?
STEM instruction is more than a change in curriculum (Download the History of the Guide). True STEM instruction involves the trans-disciplinary integration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics into rigorous lessons that connect students to real world careers and issues. STEM programs grow organically from educators wanting to connect academic content to the business community and work place skills. To begin the process:

  1. You can use the menu bar above to peruse the online guide,
  2. Download a copy of the entire STEM Immersion Guide,
  3. Take the self-assessment to determine your current level of immersion,
  4. Assemble your Design Team, and,
  5. Download the four Implementation Guides to be used as a Roadmap/Timeline for each of the levels of STEM Immersion.
  6. Create a Strategic Plan for your school based on your current level of immersion and create your own STEM Program.

Explore our resources and contact us if you need additional information. The STEM Immersion Guide has been validated through a three year Helios STEM School Pilot Program. We have a validated PROCESS that leads schools and districts through the entire creation, implementation and evaluation phase.  If you need more information, please click here to contact the Arizona STEM Network.

Explore the STEM Guide

A traditional school experience with STEM-related extracurricular opportunities offered outside the regular school day.

Teaching: Teachers sponsor or lead extracurricular STEM-related opportunities before or after the regular school day.

Learning: Students choose to participate and may collaborate to solve teacher-directed or student-determined problems.


  • After-school clubs, such as forensics, robotics, and video production
  • Science Fairs
  • Summer programs offered by the school or vendors

A traditional school experience with STEM-related opportunities offered in addition to the current curriculum.

Teaching: Teachers plan and implement STEM-related opportunities in addition to the regular curriculum and provide them to all students during the regular school day.

Learning: Students are required to participate and may collaborate to solve teacher-directed, authentic problems.


  • Integrated STEM units delivered once state testing is completed
  • Discrete product development activities
  • Supplementary stand-alone learning units offered through industry or nonprofit partnerships

A non-traditional school experience where STEM-related experiences are integrated into the curriculum.

Teaching: Teachers plan and implement STEM-related experiences that are integrated into the regular curriculum. Teachers take on a facilitative role guiding student learning through inquiry.

Learning: Students participate in ongoing project-based investigations to solve student- and/or teacher-directed problems.


  • Schoolwide STEM themes
  • Year-long integrated problem/project-based learning units
  • Dual enrollment programs
  • School-within-a-School approaches, such as Biotech

A non-traditional school experience where STEM-related experiences drive and determine the curriculum.

Teaching: Teachers plan and implement a STEM-related curriculum while acting as facilitators who guide student learning through inquiry.

Learning: Students continually collaborate to solve authentic problems, propose solutions and contribute ideas to the larger community.


  • Explorer Middle Schools
  • NASA Schools
  • Interdisciplinary problem- and project-based learning
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