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AZ Tech Beat | August 19, 2019

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Axosoft closing the STEM gap with live stream

Axosoft closing the STEM gap with live stream
Jesse A. Millard

To combat the decreasing supply of students pursuing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers, the Maricopa County Education Service Agency partnered with PBS to create a program bringing STEM mentors to the classroom through a live stream.

Axosoft, an agile and project management software company, was the first Arizona tech partner to host the STEMpro stream this year.

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Students from over 75 schools in Arizona were able to tune in and ask the founder, Hamid Shojaee, a myriad of questions about what he did to become the founder of a successful software company. Shojaee began by giving a tour of the offices to the students.

The program was created to ignite a “STEM identity” within the students so they may pursue a career in one of the many available fields, Gale Beauchamp, STEM Business Education Partnership coordinator for MCESA said. It works as a mentorship between the STEM professional and the students.

“We have a huge shortage of students pursuing STEM,” Beauchamp said.

Read: Why Axosoft is one of the coolest places to work.

Classrooms in the Valley and throughout rural Arizona tuned in to ask Shojaee questions. Some of the more popular questions were about what a typical day inside of the office was like, how long he went to school and why he wanted to own a company.

Shojaee enthusiastically answered the questions and told the students about his background and who his mentors were.

Axosoft joined in on this event because as a tech company they feel responsible to help promote education and skill sets required of their employees, Shojaee said.

“Here is an opportunity to help build great talent from early on,” Shojaee said.

His favorite questions from the students were about how they could get into the world of programming because it showed STEM interest was already being created.

The program helps the students know what an engineer or programmer does for a living, Beauchamp said.

This was the second stream, with the first stream hosted by Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability in November, Beauchamp said

“(the) students have really enjoyed how they can interact with STEM pros live,” Beauchamp said.

They plan to have a live-stream at least once a month.