Early childhood nonprofit launches annual high school STEM challenge

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Southwest Human Development, Arizona’s largest nonprofit dedicated to early childhood development, launched its annual MAKERS of Change Assistive Technology Challenge benefiting the organization’s services for young children with disabilities.

Now in its third year, the MAKERS of Change Assistive Technology Challenge engages high school students to advance their STEM knowledge and learn important lessons about the practical application of assistive technology solutions.

STEM teams will compete over the next two months in a variety of categories to develop real-world solutions to real-life problems experienced by those with physical disabilities. Final presentations will be made on Nov. 7.

“The annual MAKERS of Change challenge is such an amazing event to host each year because we have the opportunity to work in partnership with creative young minds to introduce them to some of the hurdles children we serve go through every day,” says Jake Adams, chief development officer for Southwest Human Development. “It’s inspiring to see them collaborate and work to execute solutions that are then used by our families.”

Through the generosity of sponsors including ON Semiconductor, CopperPoint Insurance Companies, Cox Communications, ACCEL Schools and Mountain America Credit Union, the STEM teams have a chance to work and consult with technology professionals throughout the competition as they develop software and hardware solutions, receiving guidance, insight and other support to bring their ideas to reality.

The challenge to open to all high school STEM teams, clubs, classes and more. Due to COVID-19 limitations, the MAKERS of Change event will be entirely virtual with the ability to host teams who are either learning distantly or safely learning together at their schools. Teams can still sign up to participate at www.atmakerschallenge.com.

About Southwest Human Development

Southwest Human Development is Arizona’s largest nonprofit dedicated to early childhood development. Recognizing a child’s earliest experiences and relationships establish the foundation for all future development, Southwest Human Development’s more than 40 comprehensive programs focus on young children – ages birth to 5 – and their families in the areas of child development and mental healthEasterseals disabilities servicesearly literacy and Head Startchild welfare and professional development and training. Founded in 1981, Southwest Human Development serves 140,000 children, their families and professionals each year. Learn more at www.swhd.org.

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