Englewood becomes first all-STEM district

We have heard of STEM Schools... programs focused on science, technology, engineering, and math. How about a STEM district?

ENGLEWOOD - The overarching mission of any school is to give everybody an equal chance at science, technology, engineering and math.

"Using a lot of analytical skills, collaboration. It's really being thoughtful, going into more depth around the work that you're doing," said Dr. Wendy Rubin, Englewood Schools superintendent. 

The Englewood School District announced Thursday it will become the first district in Colorado to offer hands-on STEM learning to every student through the creation of Smart Labs at every building.

"STEM learning really requires that kids think and that they struggle and we love that," Rubin said.

She credits to the major shift to partnerships with Creative Learning Systems who designed the Smart Labs and the Gill Foundation who donated $400,000 to the district.

"All of this is what is going to make people employable," said Tim Gill, founder and software entrepreneur. "It's going to give them better lives. It's going to give them better jobs."

Students will get expanded use of computers, robotics, and engineering kits to explore the science and math fields as possible careers. Sixth grade student Darlenee Soto says she loves it.

"You could learn a lot of things for your future," Darlenee said. "Everybody could like do science. It's not just for boys or not for girls. It's for everybody."

The Englewood School District is made up of mostly lower income families and mostly minorities. That's why Rubin believe this change is important.

"Being able to make sure that every student, every day has access and has opportunity regardless of their background," Rubin said.

The Gill Foundation is primarily concerned with securing equal rights for the GLBT community. But, it also issues grants for access to education. Rubin says with funding always an issue especially for a school district like Englewood, community partnerships are key.

"It's wonderful to have partners who have similar values and who come in and really make a difference and make a difference for the right reasons," Rubin said. 

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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