Colorado is projected to have one of the highest growths in STEM career opportunities over the next decade.  Our students need resources for STEM education and pathways to explore careers in STEM in order to be prepared for the 21st century workplace.  Our Community Foundation is making STEM Education for K-12 students a priority in the counties we serve.  From LEGOs for elementary schools to coding devices, 3D printers and robotic labs for middle and high school students, your donation will help  give our students the tools they need to be successful.

WCCF Grant Supports Central High School new STEM lab

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Students at Central High School showed off their new STEM lab Friday. The school's science, technology, engineering and math department held an open house to celebrate what your donations helped them accomplish. Folks and sponsors...

Several D51 schools given dozens of new Chromebooks

Daily Sentinel - By JOE VACCARELLI Heidi Ragsdale’s eighthgrade science class got an important boost about a month ago with the arrival of 30 Chromebook laptop computers at West Middle School. West and Central High School were the...

Central’s STEM Academy’s expanding robotics program

Four years ago, Central High School launched a STEM Academy, a specialized program within the high school open to students across Mesa County School District interested in a career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math). The program has grown steadily and there are over a hundred students now enrolled. STEM Academy students complete the normal high school requirements for graduation plus required AP classes in Computer Science. Each student commits to an internship and a special project in order to complete the STEM Academy requirements.

Central offers robotics classes to its STEM Academy students and is planning a Robotics Competition class.  Central’s STEM teachers and students are heavily involved in the district-wide high school robotics league, the Hi Fives, which has an impressive track record for success in state and national competitions.  When the space at the Business Incubator was no longer available for the Hi Fives, the STEM Coordinator at Central started envisioning a dedicated space for robotics as part of his traditional shop building.


Our Community Foundation awarded $20,000 to the STEM Academy to renovate the space over the summer and equip it with design software for laptop computers, movable work tables and other specialized equipment to provide a home for robotics engineering. In time, the Robotics Lab may be open to students from nearby Grand Mesa Middle School and students in summer camps offered by the John McConnell Math and Science Center.

West Middle School’s MESA after-school program supported with a $5,000 grant

West Middle School teacher Heidi Ragsdale loves turning her students on to science – both in her 8th grade science classroom and in her after-school program.  MESA stands for Math, Engineering and Science Achievement and draws 50 West Middle School students to participate. Heidi also coordinates MESA programs across the district, involving 250-300 middle school students in fun engineering competitions.
Heidi and her students were thrilled to receive a WCCF grant to purchase state-of-the-art equipment like 3-D printers and materials so that MESA students can have more resources to help them with their building competition assignments.
“It is really exciting that my MESA program got this donation! This means that me and other kids can enjoy many fun things, while also learning a TON about Math, Engineering, Science, Technology.”   
                   -Marshall Langlan
3rd year MESA student

Montrose School District committed to STEM education

Montrose School District is a relatively small district with a big dream: to become the first STEM district in our state. In August, our Community Foundation attended a very enthusiastic district-wide back-to-school assembly and presented a $10,000 check. Our funding will be used to equip Maker Spaces at Northside and Olathe Elementary Schools – encouraging creativity and design thinking in Montrose’s youngest students.

“Teching up” the D51 STEM Schools

 Chromebooks to be  distributed to West Middle School and Central High School

While many teachers and schools across Mesa County School District 51 are expanding STEM education opportunities, there is a formal “pathway” of STEM schools for students who want specialized opportunities and in-depth programming in STEM. These schools are: New Emerson Elementary School, Tope Elementary School, West Middle School and the STEM Academy at Central High School.

Each year for the past three years, our Community Foundation has partnered with D51 Foundation to raise funds for Chromebooks to help increase the number of individual learning devices available to D51 students. This year our $10,000 grant for Chromebooks will purchase devices for the STEM schools.