Nearly one week after their summer break officially ended, students at STEM Launch kicked off the new school year in a refreshing, yet bittersweet …
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Nearly one week after their summer break officially ended, students at STEM Launch kicked off the new school year in a refreshing, yet bittersweet way.
As Adams 12 Five Star School and municipal administrators filed into the school’s new courtyard, STEM Launch kindergartners and fourth- and fifth-grade students sold different types of lemonade from wooden stands. The goal, students said, was to identify the flavors that beverage companies might be interested in buying. The students want to make money to fund their research.
“I’m really excited to be at STEM Launch, and I’m really excited for all of my siblings to be here,” said eighth-grader Alexandra Charles, of Federal Heights. “It’s exciting to be in a new school even though I’ll miss the old one. But I’m really looking forward to all of the learning experiences that I will have at this school.”
The ambitious project to open STEM Launch began last September when Adams 12 Five Star School announced it would close Niver Creek Middle School, conduct $5.2 million in improvements over the summer and reopen the school in August as the district’s first STEM elementary and intermediate school. STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Adams 12 superintendent Chris Gdowski said the goal of the transition was to continue the school district’s push toward promoting STEM subjects and business entrepreneurial opportunities in more schools.
He said STEM Launch is also part of an emerging trend in Adams 12 to create hybrid schools, where school populations are integrated to include students from the surrounding community and other parts of the school district.
STEM Launch Principal Diana Gamboa said about half of the students attending the school come from the former Niver Creek community, while the remaining slots are filled by students from other Adams 12 district areas. At the middle school level, about two-thirds of the students live in the former Niver Creek community.
“The end result that we see is that we’re going to have a very diverse student body ... in terms of where it comes from geographically, where these kids come from in terms of an economic standpoint, and the racial and cultural background they bring to the school environment,” Gdowski said. “Despite these differences, they all share one thing: they will all have a cutting-edge, rigorous, relevant and engaging educational experience here at STEM Launch.”
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