New Innovation Center Ready to Welcome Saguaro Students

Editor’s note: Photographs of Saguaro High School’s new Innovation Center are available for your use at https://flic.kr/s/aHsmRXTBtc.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Nov. 13, 2020) – Students of Scottsdale Unified School District’s Saguaro High School and the Scottsdale Math and Science Academy (SMSA) will soon be able to explore today’s and tomorrow’s technology careers in a new, hands-on space designed to accommodate a variety of programs, classes, interests and clubs.

The creative space that blends design, engineering, math, technology and creativity is called the ‘Innovation Center.’ It is a first-of-its-kind collaborative workspace for District students. With the installation of rolling tables, magnetic idea boards, 3D printers, computers, mobile workbenches, machine shop equipment and classroom furniture, the Innovation Center will be the new home to many programs offered at Saguaro, including: 

  • The Math and Science Academy, SUSD’s STEM high school that is available to all SUSD students through open enrollment;
  • Saguaro’s championship robotics team, known for its community outreach and mentoring of other SUSD robotics teams; and
  • The Sisters in STEM program that aims to interest young girls in technology-related career fields. 

The 5,000 square-foot facility, located next to the Media Center on the Saguaro High School campus, 6250 N. 82nd St., will also house the school’s engineering classes, alongside Career and Technical Education (CTE) students as they design and build sets for school theatrical productions. Visual arts students will have room for large creations and the space will be able to host school, District and community events. 

Principal Ann Achtziger says all Saguaro students will be encouraged to put their imaginative thinking into action in the new Innovation Center. “This new opportunity for our students and teachers to engage collaboratively across the high school curriculum in hands-on science, technology engineering, mathematics and creative arts problem-solving has been in the works for four years. The innovation mindset and possibilities for open-ended exploration that this new facility can accommodate is going to be amazing for the Saguaro community.”

Designed with the major input of SMSA students, the $1.4 million Innovation Center project was financed with 2016 voter-approved bond funds. Phoenix-based BWS Architects created the design plans and McCarthy Building Companies, Phoenix, handled the construction. The Farley Family Charitable Foundation has donated funding for some of the Center’s equipment. 

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Innovation Center, attended by Saguaro students and staff, Governing Board members and District leadership, was held Nov. 12. 

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