Steps to Join 

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Reserve Your Spot!

The CSO position can be as powerful as you make it. Successful schools include CSO leaders in staff meetings, at open house, in PTO, student government  and school board meetings. Challenge your CSOs to be creative and empower them to ignite new STEM opportunities (from the student’s point of view). For 2017-2018 school year, we are happy to be able to keep the school activity fee at $400/student thanks to AZ SciTech sponsors and awarded grants. (The unsubsidized cost is $1000/student!) Payable by the school or district at the start of the school year, many use state tax credit dollars or club fees as funding sources.

Registration FORM for School/District Intent to Participate

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This is an agreement between Arizona SciTech Chief Science Officers (CSO) Program and...


The purpose of this document is to identify the roles and responsibilities for school participation in the CSO program. Participating students and their parents are requested to sign an additional agreement prior to Institute.

Chief Science Officer’s Program Goals:

  1. 1-Create a pipeline of diverse STEM leaders
  2. 2-Increase communication and collaboration among CSOs
  3. 3-Enrich school STEM culture and career awareness
  4. 4-Increase student voice in STEM conversations in the community
In particular, this School Intent to Participate is intended to help further define the school partner commitment to the CSO position. Achievement levels of the CSO is related to your levels of support. Embrace the program and include your CSOs in staff and PTO meetings, have them update your school board and regularly carry out their ambassador role when STEM collaborators are on campus. Challenge them to be creative and ignite new STEM opportunities from the student’s viewpoint.

Specifically, the school/district partner is agreeing to the following goals:


  • The relationship begins with signatures of all parties on the School Intent to Participate
  • The school agrees to pay the activity fee by September 1, 2017
  • The relationship can be renewed at the end of the school year June 1, 2018.


The Chief Science Officers (CSO) program was founded in Arizona in 2015 by Dr. Jeremy Babendure.  This STEM intervention is the first of its kind where 6th – 12th grade students are ELECTED by their peers to represent their school for STEM and innovation.
  • 2015-2016:  137 Arizona CSOs from 78 schools
  • 2016-2017:  220 Arizona CSOs  from 120 schools
  • 2017-2018:  (Forecast) 350 Arizona CSOs from Arizona and 150 CSOs nationwide
On campus CSOs serve the student body as the voice for STEM, identifying opportunities such as creation of stem clubs, stem newsletters and announcements, inviting stem career professionals as guest speakers, coordinate science nights and spirit events while ensuring each opportunity reflects the interests and desires of their peers. CSOs help increase exposure of existing school programs such as robotics, code clubs, and science fairs. Students also serve as the school’s STEM Ambassador in the community.
Off campus CSOs advocate for school STEM opportunities at city councils, school boards, and chambers of commerce. They function as the point person for community STEM initiatives. The program provides real-world, career-oriented experiences and opportunities.  CSOs are exposed to business norms, have the opportunity to practice their leadership skills, complementing the classroom-based instruction.
Collectively CSOs work as a statewide “cabinet” to collaboratively engage in Arizona’s conversations about STEM education and work on collective action projects that lead to positive community impact. The CSO Program expands the student government model to place youth squarely in the center of STEM promotion, experience, and community action.


Early in the school year, CSOs are encouraged to meet with school administration to discuss program objectives and get buy in on their action plans.
  • Weekly- Connect with CSO peers and CSO program online. Complete assignments in the CSO canvas class.
  • Monthly-Meet with point of contact teacher and Jedi mentor
  • Semester- CSOs  attend  at least 2 community events as a STEM Ambassador/Leader.
    • 1st Semester CSOs introduce on campus action plan ideas with their peers and school administration. Attend leadership events in the community and CSO cabinet meeting.
    • 2nd Semester  CSOs implement action plan, attend SciTech festival events, attend CSO cabinet meeting, participate and help plan CSO elections, attend graduation celebration.


  • Note: We are happy to be able to keep our costs low to the schools thanks to our AZ SciTech partners, sponsors and awarded grants. The full cost amounts to $1000/student! Most schools use Tax credit or club funds.
  • Facilitate communications between CSO Program Coordinator, student, parent, and school.
  • Be available for your CSO, listen to their ideas, help them problem solve, plan events and get help as needed.
  • Encourage regular CSO interactions with peers in online Canvas class- provide access to the Canvas online environment weekly.

At least one training institute

  • Summer: July 18-21, 2017 (preferred)
  • Fall: September 2017

Statewide Meetings

  • CSO Capitol Summit at the AZ State Capitol: October 2017
  • CSO Cabinet Meeting: February 2018
  • Year-end graduation (May 2018)

At least two community event per Semester

  • AZ SciTech Festival Launch: Fall 2017
  • Connect2STEM AZ SciTech Festival Kickoff: January 2018
  • AZ SciTech Festival Events
  • As scheduled on CSO homepage or via canvas
Jeremy Babendure, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Arizona SciTech

2-School Elections in Mar/Apr

A requirement of the program is for the CSOs to be elected by their peers. Holding a general election ensures the CSOs represent their student body, builds awareness of the position, validates the importance of STEM to the school community and ultimately empowers the elected student to succeed in their role as CSO. The desired candidate is excited about Science and Technology innovations, loves their school and wants to make it a better place. All candidates must be available to attend the CSO Institute, cabinet meetings and perform leadership roles in the community 2x/semester.  Click Here for CSO Election Best Practices and FAQ

3- Parent Permission for CSO Participation, Institute Registration and Student Agreement APR-MAY

The Training Institute is one of the most important experiences for newly elected students. CSOs will form lifelong bonds with like-minded students, define their STEM passions and make plans for the upcoming year. Sessions led by knowledgeable business executives and community leaders provide CSOs interactive, hands-on learning opportunities geared to practice workplace skills in communication, leadership, strategic planning and more.  

4- CSO Attends Training (ok to sign up for both!)

  • Summer Institute at Grand Canyon University (overnight stay in the dorms!)

    Return CSOs – July 18-21
    New 9th – 12th grade CSOs – July 19-21
    New 6th – 8th grade CSOs – July 20th -21st

  • Fall Institute (September, overnight stay)

5- Schools Pay Activity Fee – due Sept.2017

6- CSO Performs Duties

7- Schools and CSOs Benefit from STEM Leadership and Culture