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Students building a stem project

STEM Signature Focus

Canyon Ridge inspires the innovators of tomorrow by offering a pre-K through 8th grade STEM education. We incorporate daily STEM experiences through one to one technology, specialized STEM programs, and challenging students to solve real-world problems. We are an award winning school. In 2017 we were the first Arizona school to earn AdvancED STEM certification. We have earned an A label from the Arizona Department of Education for two years in a row and we are proud of our national and state award winning teachers.  We cultivate strong partnerships to bring the outside world into our classrooms. To name a few, A World In Motion, Veteran’s in the Classroom, and Ottawa University work directly with students. Strong community and family support gives Canyon Ridge a feeling of home. 

STEM Description 

  • STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. 
  • Learning experiences focus on real world, locally relevant, complex, open-ended problems that require problem identification, investigation, and analysis. Creative problem solving is highly valued and encouraged. 
  • Students have multiple opportunities to work independently and collaboratively to solve problems.
  • Students are empowered to personalize and self-direct their STEM learning experiences supported by educators who facilitate their learning.
  • Students use technology resources to conduct research, demonstrate creative and critical thinking, and communicate and work collaboratively.
  • Stakeholders including volunteers, community members, local businesses, families, and post-secondary schools support the STEM program. 

Connection to the 3As 


STEM education creates critical thinkers, increases science literacy, and enables the next generation of innovators. According to the U. S. Department of Commerce, STEM occupations are growing at 17%, while other occupations are growing at 9.8%. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics workers play a key role in the sustained growth and stability of the U.S. economy. Innovation leads to new products and processes that sustain our economy. This innovation and science literacy depends on a solid knowledge base in the STEM areas. It is clear that most jobs of the future will require a basic understanding of math and science. 

STEM is important because it pervades every part of our lives. Science is everywhere in the world around us. Technology is continuously expanding into every aspect of our lives. Engineering is the basic designs of roads and bridges, but also tackles the challenges of changing global weather and environmentally-friendly changes to our home. Mathematics is in every occupation, every activity we do in our lives. By exposing students to STEM and giving them opportunities to explore STEM-related concepts, they develop a passion for it and hopefully pursue a job in a STEM field. A curriculum that is STEM-based has real-life situations to help students learn. STEM activities provide hands-on and minds-on lessons for the student. Making math and science both fun and interesting helps students to do much more than just learn - they develop a passion for these subject areas.  


In regards to STEM - Music, and the Arts work hand in hand. STEM supports music through the processing of information. Each part of the STEM acronym requires a different type of information processing. In Math the mind must follow rules, formula, and measurements to solve problems. In science, the mind must follow elements, theories, and evidence to solve problems. In Technology, the mind must access, or create technological resources to find and test solutions to the problem. As music, and the arts, produce unique neurological processing of their own, they support creative thinking as well as simultaneously utilizing reasoning from all other areas of STEM, it becomes a critical component to the support of a truly well rounded student. To support STEM, Music and the arts use cross curricular content pieces as well as utilize formats within the STEM processing to solve musical/art problems and/or to build musical/art compositions. STEM supports Music and the Arts through the use of these additional thought processing methods to engage full brain learning and problem solving. All of these attributes serve to best support our future learners in concrete, abstract, and critical thinking processes. 


As we move into the future of sports, it is very apparent that the “science” behind success is within each specialty. Pick a sport and the athlete can tell you how science improves performance. Runners frequently use GPS technology, baseball/softball players calculate launch angles, golfers have to adjust for the slope of a green and atmospheric conditions. The list goes on and on. At Canyon Ridge, we are focused not only on teaching students the benefits of good health, but also how STEM helps excel at athletics. 

STEM Community 

  • Standard 1 - School/program provides equitable opportunities for students to engage in high quality STEM learning.
  • Standard 2 - STEM educators collaborate to develop, implement, and improve high quality STEM learning activities.
  • Standard 3 - School/program engages diverse STEM community in order to support and sustain STEM programs and initiatives.
  • Standard 4 - School/program has established a shared vision for STEM and has leadership structures to support effective implementation.

STEM Learning Culture

  • Standard 5 - Leaders ensure that all stakeholders have ongoing opportunities to access information and learn about STEM implementation.
  • Standard 6 - Educators and leaders participate in an ongoing system of STEM-specific professional learning.
  • Standard 7 - Students engage collaboratively in authentic inquiry during ongoing units of study.
  • Standard 8 - Students engage in self-directed STEM learning guided by educators who are effective facilitators of learning.

STEM Experiences

  • Standard 9 - School/program provides within-school and extra-curricular opportunities for students to extend STEM learning.
  • Standard 10 - Students demonstrate their learning through performance-based assessments and have opportunities to develop self-assessment and self-monitoring skills.
  • Standard 11 - STEM learning experiences integrate all STEM disciplines with an emphasis on processes and practices associated with STEM.
  • Standard 12 - School/program provides high quality STEM courses and curriculum aligned to recognized standards and organized into interdisciplinary frameworks.

STEM Outcomes

  • Standard 13 - Students demonstrate STEM content knowledge representative of STEM literacy outcomes that prepare them for the next level of learning and work.
  • Standard 14 - Students develop STEM skills and cross-cutting competencies that support workforce readiness.
  • Standard 15 - School/program engages in a continuous improvement process for STEM.
  • Standard 16 - School/program conducts evaluative activities to ensure the effectiveness of STEM implementation.