Four new STEM labs at The Early College of Arvada provide students space and technology to explore higher level content in a way the school wasn’t able to offer before. The free public charter …
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Four new STEM labs at The Early College of Arvada provide students space and technology to explore higher level content in a way the school wasn’t able to offer before.
The free public charter school serves grades six through 12 and puts a focus on higher education through a partnership with University of Colorado Denver, which allows students to earn up to 59 transferable college credits as they compete their high school diploma.
“I think a big part of this is that considering jobs of the 21st century,” said Ryan Conrad, director of The Early College of Arvada. “We are wanting to give our kids the opportunity to take innovative and engaging classes. We wanted them to have the facilities and space that is dedicated to science and STEM.”
The new labs are the first step in the schools plan to expand its STEM program, CLIMB, which stands for Cultivate Leadership through Innovation Movement and Brainpower.
“With the labs we are now looking at integrating the engineering and technology aspect into our core science classes and emphasizing a common connection,” said Dr. Danielle Ladd, director of CLIMB and a chemistry professor and science teacher at ECA. “CLIMB helps students make connections between the science classroom and their everyday lives by engaging students in community connected engineering and science projects.”
The goal, she said, is to provide students courses that make the connection between fields, such as chemistry and food science or technology and communication services.
For senior Andrea Covarrubias the connecting the subjects to careers fields has helped her find her path.
“I really enjoy knowing how things function in every day life,” Covarrubias said. “I like the math involved and knowing how things work and why they work that way.”
Covarrubias will be attending Arizona State University next year and because of the college credits she has earned in high school, she will dive right into the schools engineering school to pursue her goal of becoming a mechanical engineer.
The 17-year-old credits her physics class with Ladd, a visit to Colorado School of Mines and guest speakers as the things that led her to her path. Her dream job is to work for Tesla.
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