STEM classes get boosted |

STEM classes get boosted

EAGLE — The local hospital donated $45,000 to support STEM classes in local schools.

Vail Health’s donation will help support science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) courses at Eagle Valley High School, Gypsum Creek Middle School, and Red Sandstone, Red Hill, Gypsum and Edwards Elementary schools.

“The grant supports Project Lead the Way, which provides turnkey STEM units,” Assistant Superintendent Philip Qualman said.

For example, 60 Eagle Valley High School students are in the first-year course, biomedical sciences. Next year with the addition of a second year class, the course will grow to 100 students, the school district said.

Gypsum Creek Middle School offers two Project Lead the Way courses, and the participating elementary schools each offer introductory units.

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Project Lead the Way connects the private sector with public schools to help clearly define academic and career pathways for students. The goal is to help students understand that education is not just something they have to do, but it is an avenue to employment in adulthood that simultaneously prepares them for personal success and happiness in a diverse world.

“Top-quality STEM courses are expensive because of the specialized equipment and supplies necessary to give students real-world experience,” Eagle Valley High School Principal Greg Doan said.

Vail Health already sponsors a health and science classroom in Eagle Valley’s new H2 building. The hospital bought $50,000 worth of equipment for the classroom.

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