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Colorado Education Initiative Helps Colorado Middle Schools Place STEM Mentors in the Classroom

"I want teachers to see what STEM skills look like outside of their classroom walls and see STEM skills being used by real-world professionals," he said. "It's fantastic that our students will have the ability to become involved in learning that has connections to the world outside of education by having access to a STEM professional." ~ Prairie Middle School science coordinator Jeff Cazier Colorado’s STEM industry professionals are headed back to class — to mentor! 

Prairie Middle school is one of four Colorado middle schools selected to participate in a pilot to implement and improve STEM classes with project-based learning. Industry mentors will work with teachers to create projects that solve real-world, industry-designed challenges — a project that is expected to reach more than 100 students. 

In Cherry Creek Schools, Prairie Middle School science coordinator Jeff Cazier was looking for a way to increase the impact of current district STEM initiatives and coaching. "Many of our teachers are very involved in STEM through their content classes and we thought a mentor would be a great addition to the programs we currently run," said Cazier.

Cazier said he hoped teachers could learn just as much from mentors as the students. "I want teachers to see what STEM skills look like outside of their classroom walls and see STEM skills being used by real-world professionals," he said. "It's fantastic that our students will have the ability to become involved in learning that has connections to the world outside of education by having access to a STEM professional."

“This is a unique opportunity for students to understand what aerospace engineers do on the job, and mentoring the students offers Boeing employees a chance to give back to the community,” said Boeing Colorado Site Director David Eddy.

 

“We’re very lucky to have partners like The Boeing Company and Lockheed Martin that are donating their time, talent, and financial resources to partner with teachers in their STEM classrooms,” said CEI STEM director Angela Baber. “Our other partner in this project is the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) to measure the impact and outcomes of industry and school partnerships. We’ll figure out what works and what doesn’t as we begin to build these types of partner models that widen our state’s talent pipeline to support our STEM workforce.”

“This is a unique opportunity for students to understand what aerospace engineers do on the job, and mentoring the students offers Boeing employees a chance to give back to the community,” said Boeing Colorado Site Director David Eddy. “As engineers, we use the same problem-solving techniques and teamwork we are teaching the students. Engaging them in hands-on learning and critical thinking will help them succeed. I hope students will be excited about STEM and become future engineers and scientists.”

Lockheed Martin is excited to partner with CEI to help develop Colorado’s future leaders in technology. “Through this STEM mentorship program, we hope to spark greater interest in fields like math and engineering to inspire the next generation of innovators who will lead us through the 21st century and beyond,” said Lockheed Engineering Director Blake Davis.

The other STEM pilot middle schools include:
• Hamilton Middle School and Denver Green School in Denver Public Schools
• Horace Mann Middle School in Colorado Springs School District 11

Posted 11/4/2016 1:32 PM
​"I want teachers to see what STEM skills look like outside of their classroom walls and see STEM skills being used by real-world professionals," he said. "It's fantastic that our students will have the ability to become involved in learning that has connections to the world outside of education by having access to a STEM professional." ~ Prairie Middle School science coordinator Jeff Cazier
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