Eagle County Schools receives STEM funding support from Vail Health
For the 2021-22 school year, Vail Health donated $45,000 in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, commonly known as STEM, funding support to Eagle County Schools to demonstrate the importance of community collaboration.
Every fall since 2012, principals and teachers throughout the Eagle County School District are encouraged to apply for funding that promotes curricula in STEM, arts and music as well as equity in the classroom. This grant program encourages teachers to educate with innovative curriculum.
The local district intends for this year’s funds from Vail Health to go toward Project Lead the Way, an organization that provides Pre-K-12 students and teachers across the U.S. with hands-on classroom environments and empowers students to develop in-demand knowledge and skills they need to thrive.
STEM courses have a final goal for students to develop skills to better solve real-world problems, make sense of information, know how to gather and evaluate evidence to make decisions, and to spark an interest in the STEM subject areas.
Edwards Elementary School and Red Sandstone Elementary School have both held the honor of being Distinguished Schools in the Project Lead the Way program.
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“(Project Lead the Way) is also a great equity equalizer with hands-on learning available for our students in both Spanish and English,” said Marcie Laidman, principal at Red Sandstone Elementary School.
In addition to ensuring students have equitable access to behavioral health services, another long-term goal of the partnership between Vail Health and Eagle County Schools help students find their way from high school to a career in health sciences.
Eagle Valley High School has a four-year sequence of Project Lead the Way that focuses on medical science. Approximately 150 students participate in the program, and the Vail Health grant will help to fund professional development for staff as well as resources and equipment that go into those classrooms. And in the 2021-22 school year, the school added a Project Lead The Way engineering program.
“We have students that would not have considered careers in these fields and move onto higher education to pursue opportunities without these programs,” said Greg Doan, principal at Eagle Valley High School.