Science Happens Here Comes To The Verde Valley

These trading cards with a STEM twist are going to be a hit in the Verde Valley

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A continued partnership with the Arizona SciTech Festival means we’ve got big news for the Verde Valley!

Science Happens Here is coming to the Verde Valley! This new program designed to advance STEM education in rural Arizona is a fun game designed for kids in 3rd- 8th grade. It consists of collecting trading cards from local businesses that contain science related facts.

The idea of the game is for kids to take a deeper look at the science that surrounds them in their everyday lives. When kids visit a bakery they might be in awe at the delicious looking cupcakes, cookies or other yummy pastries. These trading cards dive deeper. They teach kids about the science behind those pastries such as the science of yeast growth or science behind flour.

Our Executive Director, Kimber Lanning, talks about why this program is such an important move for Local First Arizona Foundation:

Our hope is that parents will encourage their children to explore science and have fun learning and conducting experiments at home. We then hope to inspire kids in rural communities, who may lack resources that urban schools are provided, to pursue science as a career and have an impact in their hometowns.”
— Kimber Lanning, Executive Director of Local First Arizona Foundation.

Best of all, the locations that have these trading cards are all local area businesses. This makes it an opportunity for families to meet their neighbors, collect cards, and learn new things.

We first launched Science Happens Here in the small town of Safford in 2016. Ruth Ellen, the Northern Arizona Director of Local First Arizona Foundation talks about the positive impact these trading cards created in Safford area and the potential they bring to the Verde Valley.

We’re incredibly proud to be bringing the Science Happens Here program to the Verde Valley. This program has so far introduced hundreds of kids in Safford to the science that surrounds us, and I can’t wait to see kids in the Verde Valley exploring their community and conducting these enlightening experiments.”
— Ruth Ellen Elinski, Northern Arizona Director for Local First Arizona Foundation.

Take a look at the Science Happens Here experiments and participating businesses for this academic school year:

  • Incredible Sugar - 360 Coffee

  • Fantastic Fiber - Quilter’s Quarters and Bernina Too

  • Slimey Oils - 360 Automotive

  • Lighting Zaps - Verde Canyon Railroad

  • Heavenly Hair - Desert Dancer

  • Super Stress - Cottonwood Recreation Center

  • Yummy Ice Cream - Hilltop Deli

  • Magnificent Water - Friends of the Verde River

  • Lickety Split and Bike Wheels - Verde Valley Bicycle Company

  • Vibrant Sound - Bueno Marketplace and Printshop

  • Illustrious Ink - CTS Office Supply

  • Cushy Carpet - PAWZ on Main

  • Pick A Pattern - Old Town Frame Company

  • Flour Power - Romero’s Mexican Panaderia

  • Knowledge is Power - Yavapai College Clarkdale Campus Library

There are 15 cards to collect like a scavenger hunt, and there are prizes for the kids who conduct the most science experiments, including a visit from the Arizona Science Center’s “Science on Wheels.”

One of the coolest parts of this program is that all experiments can be completed using house-hold items. Want to learn more about this awesome program? Visit the Science Happens Here website here!

Winning Safford Class 2017

Winning Safford Class 2017

The Verde Valley Science Happens Here program is made possible by APS, UES, Yavapai Apache Nation, Ledbetter Law Firm, City of Cottonwood Economic Development Council, Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce, Salt River Materials Group, and the Rural Activation and Innovation Network.


Local First Arizona Foundation (LFAF) is the 501c3 nonprofit sister organization to Local First Arizona. LFAF is an award-winning organization focused on community and economic development throughout the state in order to build self-sufficient, healthy and prosperous communities. LFAF is creating a movement that has proven results across a wide variety of measurables including youth retention, job creation, and economic gains. More information is available at