Welcome to Tempe Union's Innovation Center

  • Tempe Union High School District is pleased to introduce The Innovation Center, a program where future-ready learners are inspired to engage in authentic, problem-based experiences. This dynamic program is a collaborative opportunity that includes our six District high schools. The Innovation Center students choose from a pool of initiatives suggested by local and global industry, community and nonprofit organizations, colleges and universities, and government agencies to address real-world problems and present viable solutions. The Innovation Center student will develop the transversal competencies necessary for success in the local and global marketplace. In addition, students will earn credits towards graduation while participating in this exciting learning experience.

Portrait of an Innovation Leader and Learner

TUHSD Innovation Center | Presentation

The [IN]NOVATION Center Contact

  • Dr. Christine Barela
    Executive Director, Innovation Programs
    480-752-3560 x30101

    Interested in getting involved? 
    Please email: CBarela@TempeUnion.org

    This Center is designed to prepare future-ready problem solvers who exhibit resilience, agility, integrity, initiative, and empathy. We are eager to explore mutually beneficial relationships with you, our leading community business and organization partners. For more information about Tempe Union's Innovation Center, please contact Dr. Christine Barela at CBarela@TempeUnion.org.

Tempe Union's Innovation Center Blog

  • Go Team Go: The Innovation Center Grows its Roots

    Posted by Mary Powell, PhD on 9/2/2022

    August has been a busy month for the Innovation Center team! We have been in full-swing designing our program from the ground-up and connecting with local community partners who will co-host projects for our students during the 23/24 school year. 

    We held four community events which included organizations such as: Intel, Blue Origin, ASU, Core Construction, and the Maricopa Community Colleges District… just to name a few! Within the next couple of weeks, we are meeting with the organizations to discuss future partnerships for next year’s students.

    Community partners engage in a word cloud activity during one of our eventsCommunity partners engage in a word cloud activity during one of our events.

    Meanwhile, we continue to work closely with Dr. Connie Kamm, former English teacher-leader for the Tempe Union High School District. Her consulting firm, Kamm Solutions, employs powerful professional development with the Innovation Center team — Dr. Mary Powell, Matt Zarchin, Gerry Foster, Jason Parsons, Rhianna Rodriguez, and Dr. Christine Barela. Thus far, our workshops are focused on creating mission and vision statements, values, goal-setting and working as a high-performance team. These workshops, including readings and planning materials, afford us an opportunity to learn with and from each other, and inspire us to grow as a cohesive team. In turn, this teaches us how to model high-performance teams for our students. 

    Reach out to us by email to learn more: ICTeam@TempeUnion.org

    Comments (-1)
  • Meet Tempe Union's Innovation Center Team

    Posted by Mary Powell, PhD on 8/29/2022

    Who is the Innovation Center and What is Our Purpose?

    The Tempe Innovation Center is comprised of six dedicated and diverse individuals, five teacher-facilitators, and a program director. We are thrilled to design and implement this project-based high school program.
    Operating within TUHSD, our team connects students with local government agencies, businesses, colleges, and non-profits to work on authentic, real-world, and community-based projects. Students will earn up to nine credit hours, including honors and or dual/credit if they so choose, as they work on these projects with our partners. 
    All learning at the Innovation Center is collaborative, student-centered, and student-driven. Within project teams, our students learn all of their subjects together, working cohesively, to share their expertise and problem-solve ideas generated by community partners. 
    Reach out to us by email to learn more: ICTeam@TempeUnion.org

    Comments (-1)

Meet Our TEAM