Looking for opportunities has its ups and downs at STEM Launch K-8 in Thornton.
“Sometimes things work and sometimes they don't, and that's our world,” STEM Launch Computer Science teacher Deb Harding, said.
Opportunities for students like 7th grader Anika Johnson to teach her mom a lesson or two about technology and computer programming.
“A lot of parents don't know all the new stuff that we're learning and it's kind of fun teaching it,” Johnson said.
That's the goal of Harding and STEM Launch Engineering teacher Tara Hardman -- they both want everyone in their community to learn more about the tech world.
“The idea behind that is not only to get our students involved in utilizing the tools that we have here, but also get their families involved,” Hardman said.
“When we start problem solving together, and giving people tools that they don't have access to, we're going to let people show what all they know,” Harding said.
That's why they had they idea to start the Family MakerSpace program. It's an after-school program providing families a chance to learn about technology by putting tools like 3D printers in the hands of students.
“My students get a better understanding of what science actually is by being able to try out things and fail and learn from those failures,” Hardman said. “Not only to have kids learn about tech here, but also be able to rent or take tech home to work with.”
That invention of an idea is why these two educators won The Succeeds Prize for Education Innovation.
“We pulled a variety of information on achievement and growth and how the school performed with different types of demographics,” Colorado Succeeds Board Chairman Patrick Donovan said.
The first-of-its-kind award was created in collaboration with Colorado Succeeds, 9NEWS, mindSpark Learning and the last three Governors.
Together they presented The Succeeds Prize to Colorado public schools and educators that showed innovation in education.
A total of $137,000 was awarded with the hope the winners will share their best practices with other schools in Colorado.
“Our first purchase is going to be to get more 3D printers, so that we can do more 3D printing events,” Harding said.
These educators are getting recognized for caring about their community and encouraging their students to look for opportunities to give back.
“They are the innovators of our world,” Harding said. “And now they actually can say they are and do things and show other people.”
For more information about The Succeeds Prize, go to TheSucceedsPrize.org.