2016-2017 Program Completion Requirements

A Chief Science Officer or “CSO” is a 6th to 12th grade student elected by their peers to represent their school in STEM and innovation. 

  • Demonstrate Passion and Leadership Skills for all things STEM

  • Create an Online Profile,  Vision Statement and Video Profile

  • Participate in at least 1 of the CSO Institutes

  • Attend at Least 1  Community Event per quarter

  • Positively Impact STEM Culture at School

CSO Informational Brochure


The Chief Science Officer Experience

 On campus, CSOs will serve as the “STEM voice” for their student body, identifying opportunities for their school such as programs, speakers, workshops, field trips, science nights, and clubs and ensure such experiences reflect interests of their peers. They will serve as the school’s external point of contact and streamline the ability for the STEM-based organizations to meaningfully connect with their school.

Off campus, CSOs will serve as an ambassador helping to communicate STEM happenings with the community, building partnerships and advocating future opportunities with local business and industry and participating in important state level workforce conversations related to STEM and education. In addition, they will team will their CSO peers as part of a state-level cabinet.

Rationale for CSOs

Although simple in nature, the CSO strategy approaches school transformation at the socio-cultural level, as opposed to traditional interventions targeted at administration, educators and curriculum. In schools, STEM can be stereotyped as hard, boring and uncool.

See CSO Paige’s Blog on: How do you think your role as a CSO can impact science culture at your school…?

These attitudes can perpetuate into social and psychological barriers that impact a student’s ability to identify with STEM (a key predictor to their persistence into a STEM based career). In contrast, empowering students to self-select their own student voice in STEM will not only bridge more experiences CSOs and their identify with but lead to stronger student support and engagement of such opportunities, especially since the CSO was inherently voted in by their peers.

What Incentives are Available to a  Chief Science Officer?

  • Online profile and published blogs
  • College credits for participation (coming soon!)
  • “Distinguished” student portfolios
  • Internships with local businesses
  • Scholarships to local colleges
  • Connections and friendships

Student Voice and the CSO Cabinet

A core component of the CSO concept is to increase student “voice” in the local, state and national conversation about STEM. All too often discussions about education and the workforce take place without potentially the most important stakeholder…students! What adults view about the future workforce may not be aligned with what students want. To address this, CSOs are selected through a general election which empowers them to represent the collective student body voice at school.  CSOs are  organized into regional and statewide cabinets to work with one another to address larger, high impact opportunities as a collective group. Each semester, CSOs  convene as a cabinet. At these meetings, students will experience once in a lifetime opportunities in unique AZ facilities  such as the State Capitol, bioscience labs, mines, aircraft hangars, 3D printing facilities, and more!