Kathleen A. Bethel, Chief Executive Officer of Southern Arizona Research, Science and Engineering Foundation, or SARSEF, writes about TEP’s longtime support of the foundation, including its title sponsorship of the regional science fair this month.

If innovation stopped 200 years ago, there would be no automobiles, no electric lights and no Amazon Prime to deliver our purchases.

The inspiration of innovation is why we, here at SARSEF, are honored to have Tucson Electric Power as our partner and title sponsor of our regional science fair once again this year. Like SARSEF, TEP knows that new ideas must not only be encouraged, but flourish, for our community to grow and our children to thrive.

Rather than stand idly by, TEP recognizes that behind each innovation is an innovator. There’s someone who once had a dream; a dream that was inspired, nurtured and encouraged – and overcame challenges – until it grew to fruition. So TEP takes action to support the youngest of our community’s future innovators – those who can see a problem to be solved in our world and the way to solve it.

TEP helps SARSEF grow the workforce of the future for Southern Arizona by supporting SARSEF’s education and outreach to 66,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grades. Together, we recognize the top 6,000 students from across Southern Arizona at the SARSEF Science and Engineering Fair every March at the Tucson Convention Center.

When TEP employees volunteer at events, such as the Arizona STEM Adventure each November, they show 1,000 students some of the careers in science and technology that might await them. And TEP employees actively serve as board leaders and publicize events that the public can attend free of charge.

TEP knows that when young people are supported and encouraged, they can accomplish miracles. Among Arizona’s children are future Benjamin Franklins, Marie Curies, Albert Einsteins, or innovators of technology that we cannot yet even imagine.

Not every child needs to become a scientist of engineer, but they all do need to think critically. So, TEP employees serve as leaders, volunteers, board members and more – all to encourage our children so that innovation in our community, our state and our world continues.

Come see for yourself how TEP supports our community. Join us as TEP sponsors SARSEF’s free Future Innovators Night on Friday, March 8 from 5:30-8 p.m. at the Tucson Convention Center. The public is invited to come learn what fun innovations and careers are out there now and may be awaiting us the future!

We are fortunate that innovation in Southern Arizona is still growing. After all, it is powered by TEP!