Summer High School STEM Classes at the Innovation Center

Sign Up Today for the Summer High School STEM Classes at the Innovation Center!

flyer for summer STEM classes

This summer the Innovation Center is offering three for-credit High School STEM classes, and one non-credit opportunity for students.
For-credit classes (0.5 credit elective):
June 4 – June 28th
Mondays – Thursdays, 8:30am – 12:30pm
$150 to attend.

*Apple Certified Mac & iOS Technician
*Introduction to Programming
*IT Fundamentals (CompTIA Certification)

CyberSecurity boot camp (non-credit)
Mon – Thurs, June 11-June 14, 1pm – 3pm,
$50 to attend.

Interested students can sign up at

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Is your child ready for a smart phone?

Devorah Heitner, author of Screenwise and the blog, Raising Digital Natives, recently wrote this article for families, Hold the Phone: 8 Signs Your Kid Isn’t Ready for a Phone.

We’re excited to have the opportunity to work with Dr. Heitner and school leadership teams this summer to explore opportunities to strengthen school-family connections!

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We are Meteorologists!

Kindergarteners at several of our elementary schools have been working hard as weather reporters. Students have been using green-screen technology to simulate a weather broadcast. The reports contain updates on the current weather conditions, a forecast for the next day, and a reminder of the appropriate clothing for the next day’s conditions.

Videos are shared with parents and families through the digital portfolio app, Seesaw.  Family members are able to “like” and “comment” on their own student’s work once approved by the teacher.  Teachers have seen a direct impact on student attitude and engagement through the use of digital sharing with families and the creation tools in Seesaw.

At one school, students had the opportunity to meet a sports broadcaster from Corpus Christi, Texas. Teachers organized a virtual meeting so students could tour the newscasting facilities. The broadcaster showed students the studio’s green-screen used during news productions.  

Students were enthusiastic to learn about career opportunities that they are practicing for in now in kindergarten!

Click here to see a short clip of the virtual field trip.


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Talking to Kids about Technology Use

During a recent podcast, How to Talk to Kids about Tech Milestones and Digital Readiness, Drs. Robyn Silverman and Devorah Heitner, author of Screenwise and Raising Digital Natives, chat about how we can be better models for our children, how to set technology limits collaboratively, and how to stay curious about the way kids are using technology.

If you don’t have time to listen to the entire discussion, consider skipping to these sections:

  • minute 5:30 – How do you know when your child is ready for a tech milestone (phone, social media, etc.)?
  • minute 18:20 – Should I monitor or mentor (or both)?
  • minute 45:25 – What’s one crucial tip Dr. Heitner has for parents?

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Engaging Students with Robotics

Our best learning happens when we are engaged, challenged, and encouraged to be innovative. One way students in St. Vrain experience this type of learning is through the rich robotics opportunities offered throughout the district. 

Teachers are using a variety of interactive tools to introduce students to robotics.  Many schools have Spheros whizzing about, programmed by students to draw shapes or perform a light show. 

Students working with Spheros.

Other schools challenge students to help Beebot robots find their way through a maze, create a Cubelet creature, or write an original story for a Dash robot to perform.  Schools are hosting after-school clubs for competitive robotics, in which teams develop strategies for annual challenges and then design, build, test, and compete with their own original robots.  Robotics is also one way many students get introduced to coding.  St. Vrain has produced numerous successful robotics teams over the past few years, from elementary all the way to high school.  Teams have won national and world awards for BEST, FIRST and VEX robotics.   Other programs in the district have students developing robotic devices for real-world clients, ranging from underwater drones to in-the-air quadcopters.  That’s some serious achievement! 

As important as the technical side of robotics is, it’s probably the non-technical skills which students develop that matter even more.  By participating in robotics, students refine their critical and analytical thinking, use creativity and innovation, and regularly apply the skills and knowledge from other classes such as writing, math, and science, to authentic learning tasks.  More importantly, students build skills in communication, collaboration, project management, and more.  Finally, because there are rarely easy solutions to complex robotics problems, robotics helps support students’ development of patience, persistence, and grit.  

If you are interested in having your student participate in any of the after school robotics offerings around the district, please contact your school for more information.

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