What is a Chief Science Officer?

A Chief Science Officer or “CSO” is a 6th to 12th grade student elected by their peers to represent their school in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) and innovation. The 2015-16 year marks the inaugural year with 70 schools throughout Arizona having elected 120 CSOs. Meet some of our newly elected CSOs here [link to meet the CSOs page].

How are Chief Science Officers selected?

CSOs are elected through a General Election at their school. Often this is done in connection with student government, but not required. Many had to deliver speeches and write essays on the importance of STEM education. Each school has the flexibility to choose an election format that best fits their school culture, just as long as it’s a general election.

How long has the CSO program been in operation?

This is the first year of Chief Science Officers as student leaders. This year, we are proud to announce an inaugural cohort of 120+ students all across the state. It is anticipated there will be over 500 elected CSOs within a few years!

What Support Systems are Available to a CSO ?

  • Program Related Support Includes:
    Informational Website – first stop for calendar, profiles and mentors
    Canvas online class
    CSO Coordinator – full time certified teacher
    Training institute – Summer and Makeup in Fall
    State cabinet meetings
    Survival guide to best CSO practices
    Ms Office/Skype/ MacBooks
  • Community Related Support Includes:
  • On-site Teacher Point of Contact
  • Administrative – Principal/Superintendent backing
  • Parent – CSO Parent Organization under review
  • Having a Fellow Counter Part CSO at school
  • Collective Action Projects – working together for the greater good
  • Regional Projects and Events – networking and developing presentation skills
  • Community of Practice – 90 schools, 130 CSOs and growing!
  • SciTech Jedi mentors – community members who want partnership with the school
  • Industry and community partnerships – exposure and support for students at events
  • Mentor CSOs who volunteer to help the program have continuity (y2 and later)
  • Alumni Network of CSOs (y2 and later)

What will each CSO Accomplish this year? 

Who is sponsoring the Chief Science Officer Program?

Currently, the CSO program is being supported through time from Arizona SciTech and the membership fees of participating schools. We are actively seeking sponsorship to help build stronger on-site support for CSOs around the state.

Who Can I contact for more information?

See our contact information page.

Where do I go to get involved?

Go to our get involved page.