Jo Anne Vasquez vp and program director, Helios Education Foundation talks about the STEM Initiative.

Preparing students for 21st century jobs, Science Foundation Arizona has created the AZ STEM Network to focus on the core classes of science, technology, engineering and math.

The program recently received a $4 million grant from the Helios Education Foundation to help make students college and career ready by looking at improving the courses to obtain better results.

"STEM is very much aligned to common core, and what students are going to need to understand about how to use math, how to use science, how to think and solve problems," says Darcy Renfo of the Arizona STEM Network.

Organizers say Arizona has some of the country's worst performers in science, and the United States is scoring lower in math than its major competitors in math.

Helios spokeswoman Joanne Vasquez says the organization and Science Foundation Arizona are working on identifying schools that can benefit from the program. Supporters say the investment will be pivotal to increase students' chances for success.