STEM School Highlands Ranch

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2016-2017 School Year in Review

Highlights from 2016-2017 School Year


  • John Irwin Award for outstanding academic growth as measured by state tests
  • Completed summer of construction including finishing the Barron’s Building doubling our campus footprint and classrooms
  • Process to refine our muddled name- we emerged with the idea that we are really about Innovation.
  • Named one of the partner schools for Sterling Ranch. Opening in 2019.
  • Partnered with several rural communities for next generation synchronous learning
  • Students from Yearbook, Foreign Language classes, and ELD students hosted the first STEM Cultural Showcase
  • Problem-based learning was introduced at STEM.  Teachers throughout K-12 embraced the process as their own.  
  • Fifteen students exited the English Language Development and moved to monitor status - Great job ELA teachers!

Elementary School

  • We added five (!) grades in one year. K-5 infused positive energy into our whole school
  • Completed the K-2 playground
  • Hatched chickens in kindergarten
  • Marketplace in 1st
  • Cultural Day in 4th Grade
  • Poetry Cafe in 4th Grade
  • 5th grade Recycle PBL presented to industry professionals with strong accolades
  • 5th grade Human Body PBL presented to Health Care professionals
  • 5th grade Williamsburg trip -many kudos for students knowing more than most HS tours

Middle School

  • 3 groups of 6th graders spent 3 days at Keystone Science School
  • 2 groups of 7th graders attended Sea Camp in SanDiego
  • 1 group (2 busses) of 8th graders attended the Manufacturing and Engineering field trip in Kansas City.
  • Improved our state ranking by over twenty places
  • 7th graders learned about falconry from Jennifer Campbell-Smith
  • Top ranked Colorado cyber security teams in an international competition including a girls only team
  • Four productions throughout 2016-2017 by a newly founded Drama course (props to Mrs. Rooney) (2) November 30th, May 5th, May 6th
  • First ever middle school Keystone Ski field trip
  • 6th Grade Computer Science students learned beginning HTML/CSS coding language
  • Middle School students competed in the International Bebras Computational Thinking Competition in Computer Science Class.  STEM School students scored the highest in the State of Colorado!
  • TSA Chapter of the Year, state champ, 5th time
  • Veteran’s Day Celebration Assembly held in the gym that honored those in our school community (staff, parents, grandparents, friends) that had served in our armed forces.
  • End of Year 7th Grade Holocaust Showcase featuring survivor Fanny Starr and virtual museums incorporating work from science, art, music, LA, social studies and computer science being presented in VR.
  • Record enrollment of over 50 girls in the MS Girls in STEM Club. The members collaborated to solve several design challenges in programming, momentum, wind energy, and other STEM topics. They designed an app for animals to use as well as made inspirational posters for encouraging girls to pursue careers in STEM fields.
  • Several students dominated 6th, 7th grade and Team Awards at the Valor Math Competition.
  • Math Club members participated in Regional and State MATH COUNTS competitions.
  • Large, open ended 6th Grade PBL to improve Empathy at STEM (lead by Mrs. Johnson)
  • Top NHD and Science fair finishers
  • Barn dance with line dancing class for 1 hour before; ice cream truck and student DJ
  • Constructed and implement Spartan Student Success classes on Fridays in Study hall.  Topics aligned with the STEM formula for character and students won gift cards!
  • 1,200$ raised for the leukemia foundation.

High School

  • Increased our rank on Colorado School Grades from 11th to 9th out of 345 in Colorado high schools.
  • Homecoming and Prom
  • CHSAA sports established and enhanced
  • Cyber Patriot competitors top ranked in Colorado
  • Hosted French students and our students visited their homes in Northern France
  • Became official twin city with Lillers, France
  • STEM Students got their questions asked and answered during latest ISS contact with Thomas Pesquet
  • Assemblies/pep rallies
  • Girls volleyball team’s inaugural season ended with a winning record
  • TSA won state, Chapter of the Year, second time in a row
  • Cyra Gallano elected state TSA Secretary
  • BEST Robotics BEST of BEST award
  • Student placement in apprenticeships through CareerWise Program
  • Two groups of Simple Solutions finalists presented to STEM’s board
  • Wildly successful STEM High School Showcase Night in the fall
  • First STEM FBLA Chapter with 6 members, 4 qualify for State and 2 to Nationals
  • First STEM MIT Launch Entrepreneurship Club with 7 members who qualify as a finalist to pitch their business idea at MIT Live in April.
  • Successful 3rd year HS Girls in STEM chapter with trips to the State Capitol, Engineering firm Burns and Mac, JE Dunn Construction Company, and many more...
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