Real world examples

Students could learn a coding program that produces the result below.

Western Maricopa Education Center (West-MEC) - a Career and Technical Education (CTE) District - hosts free science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) day 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 10 at START@West-MEC, 5405 N. 99th Ave., Glendale. Admission is free.

Start the Spark is a part of the Arizona SciTech Festival, a statewide effort to expose local communities to STEM.

“This family-friendly event is a celebration of all things STEM. We are featuring hands-on activities such as robotics, computer coding, film and green screen, career exploration, lego activities and more,” says West-MEC Media Specialist, Erica Shumaker.

More than 20 demonstrations take place at the event. Microsoft will show how seismographs and tuned mass dampers function, along with explaining the engineering behind one of the tallest building in the world. Participants get a glimpse into the life of a news anchor by reading off the teleprompter and running green screen animations in the media lab. West-MEC students host an activity for those who want to try their hand at coding a simple program.

Throughout the year, the START Campus stirs with activity as it mixes education, business, and community under one roof. High school juniors and seniors attend West-MEC in addition to their normal schooling to learn web design, HTML, and JavaScript. A co-working space is nestled close by where individuals can lease space and have access to the Internet, a printer, and meeting rooms.  

Individuals interested in learning more about START@West-MEC, visit For more information about Start the Spark, contact Kyle Backer at 623-738-0037.

West-MEC is a joint technical education public school district that focuses solely on innovative career and technical education (CTE) programs that prepare students to enter the workforce and pursue continuing education. West-MEC CTE programs provide students opportunities to earn college credit and industry credentials. West-MEC serves more than 29,000 students from 46 high schools, across 3,600 square miles in the northern and western cities of the Phoenix Metropolitan area. West-MEC now also offers adult education programs. Visit for more information about West-MEC’s career-driven education opportunities, or follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.