STEM Wing Sending Students to Infinity and Beyond

By Adamari Ruelas, Vista PEAK Preparatory Senior, and APS Communications Intern

Aspiring astronauts, engineers, doctors, and scientists are getting hands-on experience thanks to Vista PEAK Preparatory’s stateof-the-art STEM wing. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math and is part of a curriculum designed to prepare students for careers of the future.

Aurora Public Schools built the wing to give students early, hands-on experience in STEM fields.

Students have access to everything from miter saws, laser engravers, brad nailers, and 3D printers. They can explore and create in a safe, controlled space. Without access to these tools, students would have to wait until college to enjoy unique STEM learning opportunities.

Vista PEAK junior Gage Jakl has been in the STEM program his entire high school career and said it has allowed him to explore careers and interests he may not have otherwise considered.

“I do not believe that without the wing I would be interested in STEM,” said Jakl.

Vista PEAK STEM teacher Colin Degroot said he’s seen many students like Jakl thrive in the program.

“We build students’ skills, knowledge, and confidence as they progress through our program so that by their senior year they have mastered all our tools in order to develop their own innovative solutions in an independent project class,” said Degroot.

The wing also supports many of Vista PEAK’s STEM activities and clubs, including health career club HOSA and the Robotics club, both of which have been recognized for their excellence. Students involved proudly represent Vista PEAK Bison on state and national levels, winning awards, competitions and championships as they make their way to the top of their respective STEM fields.

The STEM addition was made possible thanks to the investment made by Aurora voters with the passage of the APS bond measure in 2016.

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APS Bond Program Accelerates Learning for Every APS Student

In November 2016, Aurora voters approved a $300 million bond measure to make improvements at every school in the district. The program provides approximately $280 million for building improvements and nearly $20 million for technology enhancements.

Year over year, Aurora Public Schools has been reaching new levels of success and we are proud of the momentum that is building districtwide. In partnership with our community, we work to provide equitable access to learning opportunities, technology, and environments that support students in reaching their full potential.

To learn more about these projects and other bond-related news, visit bond.aurorak12.org.

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