About Us

STEM School Highlands Ranch is the Flagship Campus of KOSON Schools, a Network of Charter Schools in Colorado.

KOSON Schools’ headquarters is located in Highlands Ranch, Colo., at 8920 Barrons Blvd., and operates to bring the KOSON Instructional Model of Problem-Based Learning to all students. KOSON Schools is actively exploring replication efforts throughout the State of Colorado, looking at a number of districts where students will benefit from our instructional model and STEM-based approach. If you’re interested in finding out more about replication, consider joining our KOSON Replication Committee.

At STEM School Highlands Ranch we put innovation in the center of learning to unleash the potential of all students and prepare them for an exponentially changing world.

Welcome to STEM School Highlands Ranch. We are an innovative, FREE, public, charter learning community that exists to innovate K-12 education in order to prepare every student to lead change, solve problems and succeed in an exponentially changing world.

Our Mission

Never Stop Innovating.

Our Vision

We envision a world of exponential possibilities where every child develops the innate knowledge, skills, creativity and character to thrive, lead and succeed in an ever-changing future.

Our Goal

Our goal is not only to prepare students to thrive in the constant world of reinvention, but to lead it.

Core Beliefs

Creating an environment of respect and success in an exponentially changing world.
Nurturing unlimited human potential.
Leveraging the power of collaboration through continuous inquiry and experimentation.
Optimizing resources and operations.
Impacting the world ethically and positively.
Relentlessly reinvent and adapt.

with a Charter from Douglas County School District, we serve students in grades K-12.

STUDENTS: Over 1,400

Our Elementary School serves over 500.
Our Secondary serves over 900


Our students recorded the highest overall SAT scores among Douglas County Schools in 2019.


Ranked No. 10 among Colorado High Schools and No. 1 in DCSD by US News and World Report.


Finished with a 95.6% Achievement Rating and an 87% Overall Performance Rating.


Our students earned seven consecutive John Irwin School of Excellence Awards.


We are more than a school

We are a think tank, a learning lab and a catalyst for creativity. We are a haven for continual innovation, creative exploration, and rigorous discovery. We defy definition and break with convention. Because that’s what innovators do.

We see school differently

Although our curriculum has a college preparatory focus with emphasis on developing core liberal arts skills in reading, writing, mathematics and science, we use creativity, problem-solving and innovation to inspire and challenge our students.

We are more than just STEM

We infuse STEM into all classrooms. We challenge students with STEM-based, real-world problem solving fueled by constant exploration, inquiry and discovery.

We foster innovation

We equip every student, every day in every classroom with the knowledge, skills, confidence and character to thrive in a constantly changing world. By using continuous inquiry, constant discovery and trial and error as critical pathways to new discoveries, we create a culture of safe failure and fearless innovation.

We empower students

We put students in the driver’s seat of their learning, engaging and empowering them to push their own unique boundaries of innovative learning, thinking and doing.

We see teachers at catalysts

Here, teachers are role models and innovation coaches who provide the framework for learning. Our teachers are experts in teaching appropriate use of technology, collaboration, and teamwork that sparks interest in STEM and learning at an early age.

We innovate and learn together

Here, we leverage the power of collaboration, teamwork and group think to build, design and create solutions to real world problems.

We’re fostering tomorrow’s innovators, creators and change agents

We work tirelessly to nurture and develop integrity, respect, responsibility and honesty within our students and take pride in encouraging well-rounded student development. Link here for some of our notable student accomplishments over the last school year.


One-hundred percent of our faculty is ranked "Highly Qualified" through the Colorado Department of Education. Monthly staff surveys demonstrate high satisfaction and engagement with our students.


Through a rigorous, STEM-based problem-solving curriculum, we foster innovation by teaching concepts, not facts; tapping students, not chalkboards; keeping learning real, personal, hands-on and weaving STEM principles into every subject.


Students are selected through annual lottery. No testing is required. We are a free, public charter school.


We collaborate with community businesses for real-world, authentic learning experiences for all students. We invite innovators, scientists, artists, engineers, government officials, teachers and parents to work with students to enhance learning.


College Preparatory Counseling is available to all students. Our innovative, Career Discovery Program enables high school students to work in fields of interest and develop real-world career skills and engagement.


The school is open for tours every Wednesday at 9 a.m. (Secondary) and 10 a.m. (Elementary). Secondary tours meet in the Secondary Lobby and Elementary tours meets in the Elementary Lobby.

Highlights & Awards

  • 8/11/23 – STEM 6th grader Anirudh Rao won the Paradigm World Challenge for inventing an early warning system for tornadoes called “Revere.”. He is the youngest ever to receive this particular award, which includes legal consultation to move forward with the patent process.
  • 8/25/23 – STEM student Shriya Madhavan finished in first place in the National 2023 EngineerGirl Writing Contest. Shriya wrote an essay titled “Hedy Lamarr – The Visionary Inventor and Mother of Wi-Fi.”
  • 9/1/23 – 2023 STEM graduate Brinda Malik joined STEM administrators to surprise Secondary Science Teacher Kent Schnacke and our College and Career Counselor Kelli Myrick with the Boettcher Foundation Teacher Recognition Award. These awards honor the work that teachers and counselors do and the impact they have on their community.
  • 9/15/23 – STEM School Highlands Ranch was ranked as the 12th (out of 648 schools in Colorado) Best High School in the State of Colorado by U.S. News and World Report. 
  • 9/15/23 – Spencer Neucks and Luke Pauka were named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists, making them part of an elite group representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors.
  • 9/15/23 – STEM student Vedant Margale had an opportunity to represent the state of Colorado at the 13th Annual Dewain Barber National Tournament of Middle School State Champions. 
  • 9/15/23 – STEM 6th grader Anirudh Rao was recognized by the Mayor of Lone Tree at a City Council Meeting for his innovation, “Revere,” a drone that serves as an early tornado detection system.
  • 9/26/23 – STEM School Highlands Ranch received recognition by Niche.  
    • Elementary School
      • No. 1 out of 62 Public Elementary Schools in Douglas County
      • No. 1 out of 16 Charter Elementary Schools in Douglas County
      • No. 3 out of 64 in Most Diverse Public Elementary Schools in Douglas County
      • No. 1 out of 60 Public Elementary School Teachers in Douglas County
      • No. 3 out of 86 Charter Elementary Schools in Denver Area
      • No. 4 out of 549 Public Elementary Schools in Denver Area
      • No. 35 out of 537 Public Elementary School Teachers in Denver Area
      • No. 179 out of 561 Most Diverse Public Elementary Schools in Denver Area
      • No. 4 out of 1,058 Public Elementary Schools in Colorado
      • No. 3 out of 155 Charter Elementary Schools in Colorado
      • No. 58 out of 1,006 Public Elementary School Teachers in Colorado
      • No. 313 out of 1,120 Most Diverse Public Elementary Schools in Colorado
      • No. 155 out of 3,985 Charter Elementary Schools in America
    • Middle School
      • No. 1 out of 26 Public Middle Schools in Douglas County
      • No. 1 out of 17 Charter Middle Schools in Douglas County
      • No. 1 out of 26 Most Diverse Schools in Douglas County
      • No. 1 of 24 Public Middle School Teachers in Douglas County
      • No. 4 out of 91 Charter Middle Schools in Denver Area
      • No. 7 out of 261 Public Middle Schools in Denver Area
      • No. 15 out of 252 Public Middle School Teachers in Denver Area
      • No. 83 out of 269 Most Diverse Public Middle Schools in Denver Area
      • No. 4 out of 154 Charter Middle Schools in Colorado
      • No. 7 out of 566 Public Middle Schools in Colorado
      • No. 27 out of 530 Public Middle School Teachers in Colorado
      • No. 151 out of 597 Most Diverse Public Middle Schools in Colorado
      • No. 146 out of 3,814 Charter Middle Schools in America
      • No. 779 out of 25,491 Public Middle Schools in America
    • High School
      • No. 1 out of 6 Charter High Schools in Douglas County
      • No. 2 out of 18 Public High Schools in Douglas County
      • No. 1 out of 18 Most Diverse Public High Schools in Douglas County
      • No. 1 out of 17 High Schools for STEM in Douglas County
      • No. 1 out of 15 College Prep Public High Schools in Douglas County
      • No. 2 of 16 Public High School Teachers in Douglas County
      • No. 4 out of 102 High Schools for STEM in Denver Area
      • No. 4 out of 50 Charter High Schools in Denver Area
      • No. 3 out of 155 College Prep Public High Schools in Denver Area
      • No. 12 out of 181 Public High Schools in Denver Area
      • No. 11 of 170 Public High School Teachers in Denver Area
      • No. 61 of 186 Most Diverse Public High Schools in Denver Area
      • No. 14 out of 464 Public High Schools in Colorado
      • No. 5 out of 84 Charter High Schools in Colorado
      • No 4 out of 200 STEM High Schools in Colorado
      • No. 3 out of 364 College Prep Public High Schools in Colorado
      • No. 20 out of 440 Public High School Teachers in Colorado
      • No. 121 out of 493 Most Diverse Public High Schools in Colorado
      • No. 145 out of 2,556 Charter High Schools in America
      • No. 378 out of 9,676 High Schools for STEM in America
      • No 483 out of 18,013 College Prep Public High Schools in America
  • 10/13/23 – STEM’s Middle School Cross Country Team finished first at the Confluence Invitational and the following students placed: 2nd place Emmett Baumgartner, 4th place Mason Carter, 6th place Caleb Gurolnick, 12th place Connor Burrell and 13th place Coleson Banta.
  • 10/13/23 – STEM is one of the schools recognized within the Douglas County School District for our AP programs and has been named to the new AP School Honor Roll. 
  • 11/3/23 – Deputy Gabe Uribe was named “SRO of the year” by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
  • 11/10/23 – STEM student Zain Kazazean is a scout with Troop 870, Highlands Ranch and he completed all 138 merit badges BSA offers. This is a rare feat as there are only 544 confirmed scouts that have ever earned all the merit badges since 1910.
  • 11/10/23 – STEM 6th grader Anirudh Rao was invited to Parker Science Night at the Pace Center. It was a chance for Anirudh to showcase “Revere,” the early tornado warning detection system that he invented earlier this year.
  • 11/17/23 – Six students qualify for DECA State. Three students (Maya Thatcher, Braden Calme, Sera Close) advanced following a strong showing at DECA Districts, while three others (Harman Saron, Geenara Dassanayake and Rylie Calme) tested directly to State. Maya Thatcher also passed her state officer qualification test and is now eligible to run for an officer position.
  • 12/8/23 – STEM graduate Gitanjali Rao was recently featured in an article on Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) News. Gitanjali is now attending MIT and was recently honored at The White House with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden for promoting science and innovation among youth and inspiring them with several inventions. During the visit, Gitanjali had the opportunity to take a tour of The White House and even spent an evening bowling in The White House Bowling Alley.
  • 12/8/23 – The BEST Robotics team was recognized by the Highlands Ranch Herald for their upcoming Regional Competition.
  • 12/8/23 – A small group from our Computer Science Honor Society club has been selected as State Finalists for the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow STEM Competition. The group has won $2500 in Samsung equipment for the school (so far) and has a chance to go even further in the competition in the next few months. Congratulations are due for Siddhi Singh, Robyn Ballheim, and Dhriti Sinha for their work on the proposal.
  • 12/8/23 – The CHSAA Girls Volleyball All-State Teams were announced, and STEM student Kyle Pautler was named Honorable Mention. The All-Confluence League Athletes are Kylie Pautler (1st Team), Sera Close & Auburne Mauger (2nd Team), and STEM was voted the Girls Volleyball Sportsmanship Team of the Year for the Confluence League.

Some more stats:

  • Varsity GPA: 4.12
  • These three are all juniors and the team captains.
  • Confluence League: Kylie led the league in hitting percentage and blocks. She was 3rd for the total number of kills and 7th for aces.
  • Division 3A: Kylie was 7th for blocks.
  • Confluence League: Auburne was 3rd for aces, 4th for kills, 6th for hitting percentage and 8th for digs.
  • Confluence League: Sera led the league in assists and 3rd in the league for blocks.
  • 1/5/24 – High School BEST Robotics Team finished second and was awarded the BEST award. This is the highest finish in club history.

The team was thrilled with the results and a lot of hard work went into the competition.

  • 1/12/24 – A group of STEM students received a virtual watch party from NASA for the X-59 rollout. Quesst is NASA’s mission to demonstrate how the X-59 can fly supersonic without generating loud sonic booms and then survey what people hear when it flies overhead. Reaction to the quieter sonic “thumps” will be shared with regulators, who will then consider writing new sound-based rules to lift the ban on faster-than-sound flight over land.
  • 1/12/24 – Four of seven CyberPatriot teams advanced to the semifinal round. The four teams and their Colorado state rankings for the last competition are listed below:

Red Rain – #1 Colorado Silver Division

Commanding Coconuts – #2 Colorado Silver Division

GOAT (Greatest of all Time) – #2 Colorado Middle School Division

6 Sages – Top 20 Colorado Middle School Division

Two Platinum Division teams and one Silver Division team from the high school were eliminated after the toughest state round in the program’s history.

  • 1/17/24 – STEM School Highlands Ranch has earned the College Board AP® Computer Science Female Diversity Award for achieving high female representation in AP Computer Science. Schools honored with the AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award have expanded girls’ access in AP computer science courses.In 2023, STEM was one of 225 recognized in the category of AP Computer Science.
  • 8/12/22 – P-TECH building opens for classes
  • 9/2/22 – Gitanjali Roa Named as the top-10 finalist for the Global Student Prize
  • 9/9/22 – David Marquez becomes the first STEM student to become a TSA National Officer, serving as the Sergent-At-Arms
  • 11/4/22 – Boys’ Cross Country Team finished 15th at the State Championships, becoming the first team in school history to compete at the State level.
  • 11/18/22 – Middle and High School BEST Robotics teams took home a combined nine awards in the BEST Robotics Competition. The High School team advanced to Regionals.
  • 11/18/22 – STEM had 10 State Qualifiers and three top test scores at DECA Districts.
  • 12/2/22 – SRO Deputy Gabe Uribe is the recipient of the National Practitioner Award from the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO). The award is given to deputies who serve as an SRO for a minimum of three years, attend both basic and advanced courses for NASRO, and complete an extra 160 hours of education.
  • 12/9/22 – The High School Best Robotics team was awarded the Most Robust Machine and Fourth Place Game Awards at Denver Best Regionals.
  • 12/22/22 – Over 30 STEM students received their Snap-on Tools Meter Certification 525F. That means they have demonstrated competency in a number of areas, including test lead inspection, AC/DC measuring voltage, measuring amperage and resistance, electrical calculations, proper fuse replacement and much more. According to NC3 (National Coalition of Certification Centers), STEM was in the top 10 high schools in Colorado for the number of students achieving multimeter certifications.

Additionally, over a dozen STEM students received their Three Phase Sequencing and Motor Rotation certifications from Greenlee (Green Apple Labs), which include competency in electrical meter basics, measuring currents, phase sequence and motor rotation.

  • 1/13/23 – Gitanjali Rao named one of America’s Top 300 Teen Scientists selected for their achievements in STEM innovation and Leadership by the Society for Science as part of the Regeneron Science Talent Search of 2023. This is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. The 300 scholars will be awarded $2,000 each, and their schools will be awarded $2,000 for each enrolled scholar.
  • 1/20/23 – LiDan Song and Joshua Cho each received awards from Colorado Scholastic Arts and Writing. LiDan won a gold key in the Comic Art Category and Josh won a silver key in the Drawing and Illustration Category in this year’s awards.
  • 1/20/23 – Annette Nason, Max Schwartz and Rebecca Phelps named DCSD Foundation’s Apple Award Nominees.
  • 1/27/23 – STEM’s 6th Grade Brain Bowl Team advances to the Championship Tournament.
  • 2/3/23 – Ribbon cutting ceremony for our new CHSAA gym and building renovation, first home game in the new gym and our State of STEM all rolled into a single gigantic celebration.
  • 2/3/23 – STEM Secondary Math Teacher Sara De Weese was nominated for 2023 Hall of Fame finalist ‘Charter School Educator of the Year’ by the Colorado League of Charter Schools.
  • 2/10/23 – Our First LEGO League Explore teams had an excellent showing at the FLL Festival, with seven teams participating and each team was acknowledged with a specific award in addition to their participation medals.
    • STEM Robo Kids #11899 (1st & 3rd Grade) – The Hacker Champions Award
    • STEM Busy Beavers #27386 (2nd – 5th Grade) – The Challenge Solution Award
    • STEM The Six #27385 (3rd Grade) – The Team Poster Award
    • STEM Tiger Team #27381 – The Creative Constructors Award
    • STEM White Wolves #27384 – The Team Model Award
    • STEM Spinners #27383 – The Out of the Box and Out of this World Thinking Award
    • STEM Cats #27382 – The Broadway Showmanship Award
  • 2/10/23 – Both STEM School Highlands Ranch students, Sophia Bertsch (8th grade) and Anirudh Rao (5th grade) qualified and advanced to be part of the state event sponsored by The Denver Post, following the DCSD District Spelling Bee.
  • 2/17/23 – STEM 8th grader Jayden Lee, who took first place in the Senior Mixed Foil event in the third Colorado Cup Fencing Tournament. He also qualified in first place in December during the Colorado Division Junior Olympic Qualifiers for the Cadet Men’s Épée event.
  • 2/24/23 – STEM’s Chess Team won the Colorado State Chess Championship this month. For the second time, STEM student Vedant Margale brought back the State Title. This was all for The Annual State Scholastics Tournament held at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds. Vedant also earned the right to represent the State of Colorado this Summer at the National U.S. Open Chess Championship in Michigan.
  • 2/24/23 – STEM success at the Colorado Southern Regional Science Olympiad 2023 Tournament. Our two Middle School Science Olympiad teams placed 2nd and 8th at regionals this week with 13 individual medals.
  • 3/3/23 – Anjali Rao named one of the 2023 Coca-Cola Scholars! As a member of the 2023 class of Coca-Cola Scholars, Anjali will be receiving a $20,000 scholarship to be used at a college or university of her choice. Out of 91,000 applications, the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation chose only 150 scholars. Anjali now joins over 6,600 Coca-Cola Scholars around the world and will be invited to a ceremony and banquet honoring this year’s scholars in Atlanta this upcoming April. 
  • 3/10/23 – A strong showing at the TSA State competition!

STEM students demonstrated their talents in skills in so many areas and won in the following categories:

  • STEM HS:
    • Animatronics – 3rd place
    • Career Prep – 1st place
    • Comic Book Design – 1st place
    • Data Science and Analytics – 2nd place
    • Engineering Design – 2nd place
    • Flight Endurance – 3rd place
    • Forensic Science – 2nd place
    • Manufacturing Prototype – 1st place
    • Photographic Technology – 1st place
    • System Control Technology – 1st place
    • Theatrical Set Design – 1st place
    • Video Game Design – 3rd place
  • STEM MS:
    • Biotechnology – 2nd place
    • Career Prep – 1st place and 2nd place
    • Catapult Design – 1st place
    • Chapter Team – 1st place
    • Children’s Stories – 2nd place
    • Community Service Video – 3rd place
    • Cybersecurity – 2nd place
    • Fashion Design – 3rd place
    • Mass Production – 1st place
    • Off The Grid – 2nd place and 3rd place
    • Problem Solving – 1st place
    • Structural Engineering – 2nd place
    • Tech Bowl – 1st place
    • Video Game Design – 2nd place
    • Website Design – STEM Middle School
  • 3/24/23 – Here are the results from the 2023 DECA State Competition:
    • State Champions  – 2nd Place – Integrated Marketing Campaign – Product
      • Team of Harman Saron & Braden Calme
    • Top 10 State Champion Runners Up – Financial Decision Making
      • Team of Stephen Bartony and Thomas Lewis – Honorary Mention
    • District 4 – Voting Delegate
      • Grace FitzRoy
  • 3/31/23 – STEM’s First Robotics Team won the Imagery award at the St Louis Regional. This award celebrates attractiveness in engineering and outstanding visual aesthetic integration of machine and team appearance. They were selected for the 3rd seed alliance in finals. We won three of our four semi-final matches. After the loss in semi’s against the 1st seed alliance we were able to win our way through the lower bracket to compete in Finals. In finals we lost two matches against the 1st seed alliance. It was an absolute blast to get to play with and against such amazing teams.
  • 4/7/23 – STEM had two teams competing at UCCS in the Science Olympiad. Both teams competed in all of their events and were great ambassadors for STEM. The Gold Team placed 6th in State out of 30 teams and received a trophy. Last year, this team placed 13th so it was a great improvement for them. The Blue Team came 20th out of 30 teams. This was the first time the majority of the new second team competed at State level. The following team members received individual medals for their event:
    • Gold Team:
      • First in Can’t Judge a Powder: Morgan Hamm & Addley Szczekocki
      • First in Solar System: Vicente Pavon & Kasey Garcia
      • Third in Bridge Building: Nikita Pillai &Tamanna Chollampat
      • Third in Dynamic Planet: Sajid Shakul Hameedu & Kacey Garcia
    • Blue Team:
      • Second in Forestry: Analeyna Houghton & Neil Shandilya
  • 4/7/23 – STEM’s Max Schwartz, Annette Nason and Rebecca Phelps were honored at the 2023 Apple Awards banquet.
  • 4/14/23 – STEM FBLA students earn top placement at State Competition
    • Syna Joseph – 4th Place Business Communications
    • Luke Gotschall – 4th Place Introduction to Information Technology
    • Emily Bruher – Industry Credential – IT
    • Krrish Chawda – Industry Credential – IT
    • Syna Joseph – Industry Credential – IT
    • Logan Smart / Black Carver Adames – Entrepreneurship – Top 10
    • Harman Saron / Braden Calme – Intro to Business Presentation – Top 10
    • Sri Ragampudi – Intro to Financial Math
  • 4/21/23 – Four STEM HS Robotics Teams competed in the National Robotics League’s Battlebots State competition at the Cherry Creek School District Innovation Campus. Out of the 15 teams competing in the Battlebot’s competition, all of the STEM teams finished in the top 6. Team Harold (6th), Team Rubber Mallet (5th), Team VCRP (3rd) and Team Naruto (2nd). Additionally, a second competition combined each team’s interview and presentation scores with their documentation and how they did in the actual battle tournament. Team Naruto placed 2nd, earning the Champion trophy.
  • 4/28/23 – STEM student Gitanjali Rao was honored as a 2023 Taco Bell Live Mas $25,000 Scholarship recipient.
  • 4/28/23 – STEM Senior Brinda Malik receives the 2023 Boettcher Scholarship.
  • 5/5/23 – STEM 8th grader Aidric Peterson and 6th grader Hayden Gotto finished at the top of the field for the Geography Bee. Peterson walked away as champion, and Gotto as runner-up.
  • 5/12/23 – SteMed receives a $1,000 scholarship from Centura Health for their efforts in this year’s safe driving campaign. The students came up with innovative ways to get the word out to their classmates and community about safe driving initiatives. 
  • 5/19/23 – STEM’s E-Sports Team earns a top placement in the League of Legends National Competition.
  • 2019 Valedictorian Emma Goodwill was named a finalist for the Youth Tech Leader of the Year award at the 19th Annual Colorado Technology Association’s 2019 Apex Awards at Infinity Park Events Center last week.
  • Students attended the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Conference in Phoenix, Ariz., prior to the Thanksgiving break. The team of students (Shruti Narwaney, Tavin Turner, Isabelle McCall, Gitanjali Rao, Sanjana Sankholkar, Lakshmi Ganapaneni), accompanied by their coach Simi Basu, presented on the topic “Defining the Future by Teaching the Youth.”
  • STEM partnered with Lockheed Martin and the Space Foundation to host the first-ever Junior Space Entrepreneur Program.
  • Bryce Howard won the Rotary Student Recognition Award, which recognizes a student who demonstrates excellence in leadership, community involvement, academics and character.
  • Seventh grader Sidd Aradhya was crowned as STEM’s Champion of the GeoBee. Seventh grader Zach Feldkamp finished second.
  • Crisis Recovery Coordinator Hannah Reese was recognized by the Center for Bright Kids as a recipient of the 2019 Lighthouse Advocacy Award.
  • Senior Grace Ryan was named a National Merit Scholar Finalist and Winner.
  • Teachers Allison Silvaggio and Lauren Harper, along with Help Desk Technician Jessie Hill, were recognized as DCSD Apple Award Winners.
  • STEM’s varsity “A” team opened their conference tournament with an upset of the No. 1 seed Endeavor Academy. The team opened the first half on a 22-12 run and then relied on their defense to hold of a late-game surge to end up winning a close game 28-26 to secure the victory and move on in the tournament for the championship.
  • Gitanjali Rao received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for her exemplary volunteer service to her community. The award recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and their country.
  • Sophomore Ava Mitchell received an overall superior assessment on her Thespys category at the last chapter event. As a result of this, she qualified to participate in the Thespys awards program, which will take place at the International Thespian Festival.
  • Gitanjali Rao has qualified for the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), held in Anaheim, Calif., in May 2020. ISEF is one of the leading science fair competition that attracts participants from all around the globe, who showcase their projects, inventions and innovations in science.  Gitanjali’s project titled “A Novel Approach to Early Directional Diagnosis of Prescription Opioid Addiction” was first in her category of “Biological Sciences” at the Denver Metro Regional Science Fair. Her project further qualified for ISEF and the state fair for being in the Top 3 in the “Best of Fair”, that spanned across all science categories. The project also received a honorable mention for most inventive project category award and she is invited to present her research at the annual Research and Creative Activities Symposium to compete with graduate and undergraduate student projects at CU Denver.
  • Boys Varsity and Junior Varsity team brought home third-place trophies from the All City League Silver and Gold League.
  • Senior Eryn Wheeler became STEM’s first recipient of a NCWIT (National Center for Women & Information Technology) Rising Star Award.
  • Gitanjali Rao was named a 2020 Carson Scholar. She was previously honored with a scholarship award and received recognition to acknowledge her continued academic and humanitarian achievements. She was among 8,600 gifted students from across the country who have received this honor.
  • STEM student and Eagle Scout, Ryan Montgomery had the honor of being the Master of Ceremonies at the March 6 Denver Area Council BSA Class of 2019 Eagle Banquet. Over 600 people were in attendance.
  • STEM student Hana Lee was chosen as a finalist in the 15th annual Kiwanis Club of Castle Rock’s Stars of Tomorrow Talent Competition.
  • STEM’s MATHCOUNTS “The Dream Team” advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2019-20 Math Video Challenge. STEM had eight teams that worked very hard to create videos during their Math Explorations class.
  • Seventh grader Ashlynn Wainscoat placed second in the annual “The Future of Space” essay contest put on by The Rocky Mountain Section of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. The 2020 writing prompt was “How advanced can you envision space technology and exploration through the next 50 years? What do we need to do now to achieve that?” The essay was open to 7th graders in Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. For placing, Wainscoat will receive a cash prize from the AIAA!
  • Students of team Desdemona of Mrs. Allison Doe’s class who were selected as the winning team of the VISA Everywhere Initiative. This was the first time that a high school was chosen to take part in this program and the winning team has won a month-long internship with KITE as well as individual Ipads. Click here to view the winning presentation. Click here to view the initial presentation for the VISA Everywhere Initiative.
  • Freshman Gitanjali Rao took home first place in Senior Micro & Molecular Biology for her submission on Novel Approach to Early Directional Diagnosis of Prescription Opioid Addiction. This was from the Denver Metro Regional Science & Engineering Fair.
  • Second graders Andirudh Krishman, Anirudh Rao, Robin Park and Shriya Madhavan earned honorable mention at the Nation Toshiba Exploravision Challenge for their entry on an idea to save mountain gorillas using bio-sensors. They were the only team in Colorado to receive this recognition. The team introduced an idea for gorillas to get away from poachers by themselves, using biosensors/olfactory-sensors to signal gorillas to move away from danger areas. They used the Engineering Design Process concept taught by their second grade teachers to develop a solution.
  • Senior Fischer Argosino was signed as a Student-Athlete at the Colorado School of Mines, becoming STEM’s first student to sign a National Letter of Intent.
  • STEM Kindies were fortunate to take part in STEM’s 4th Annual Inventor Visit this year with Mr. Ian Bernstein, Founder and inventor of Sphero, Sphero BB-8 and Head of Product and Inventor at Misty Robotics. Although Mr. Ian Bernstein was not able to visit us in person with his robots, the students were able to have a video conference with him and engineer Mr. CP instead. This marked the beginning of the Innovation Unit in which each Kindie had the opportunity to invent something and present their innovations to the US Patent and Trademark Office.
  • Second grader Anirudh Rao and eighth grader Nakita Rane submitted art in the DCSD Digital Art Show and their artwork was chosen to be featured on the DCSD Virtual Art Show this week.
  • Although other competitions were cancelled due to COVID-19, Colorado School of Mines figured out a way to host CS@Mines High School Programming Competition virtually and two teams of the STEM Coding Club competed, taking both first and second place. (1st Place: the Installation Wizards – Dorian Cauwe, Deven Layton, and Joseph Parsons; 2nd Place: Team i – Joshua Boerma, Sawyer Curless, Tristan DeVries)
  • Seventh graders, along their parents and STEM staff, were able to hear from Holocaust survivor and Denver local Fanny Starr. STEM has been fortunate enough to host the Starr family for many years as part of the seventh grade cross-curricular Holocaust unit. Ms. Starr, at 98, is the oldest Holocaust survivor in Colorado who does public speaking. Of her 60 family members, Ms. Starr was among only five to survive the atrocities of the Holocaust.
  • Kindly App Launch: As part of eCybermission STEM-in-Action grant , “Kindly” an anti-cyber-bullying solution was launched virtually which was attended by several students and organizations nationwide including Forbes Ignite, UNICEF, Children’s Kindness Network board members and students from 10 different states, some of whom were featured in Disney’s Marvel Hero episode. A demo of the solution was shown and a partnership with Children’s Kindness Network was established in addition to opening up a challenge for crowd-sourcing and empowering students to code. The implementation steps started in Aug 2019 and about 500-600 hours were spent in addition to promotion, awareness, and planning for the launch event.
  • FBLA Virtual State Conference Winner: FBLA Virtual State Conference was held in late April and the results are in! Junior, Tyler Connelly, took 1st place in Accounting.
  • Senior Nicole Rialsback was awarded the Daniels Scholarship , which provides a four-year annually-renewable college scholarship for graduating high school seniors who demonstrate exceptional character, leadership and a commitment to serving their communities.
  • Senior Alison Thompson became the first STEM Spartan to be nominated and accepted to a U.S. Military Academy, as she was accepted to the U.S. Air Force Academy. She received a nomination to the U.S. Naval Academy from U.S. Representative Mike Coffman and a nomination to the U.S. Air Force Academy from U.S. Senator Cory Gardner.
  • Student Gitanjali Rao was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 Science List as an inventor to watch for her unique invention that detects lead in drinking water. She was also featured in the Denver Business Journal, KOA Radio Broadcast, Highlands Ranch Herald and the Denver Post. She was profiled on the NBC Today Show and on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. She also received the Best of Fair in Denver Regional Science Fair among all middle school students for her project that created a simple device that can detect the onset of prescription addiction using the latest development in human genetics. The solution detects a specific addiction gene protein and antibody, using an automated colorimetry device and an image processing algorithm.  She conducted her research in the Cell and Development Biology lab at University of Colorado, Denver  and will continue to perform further research, tests and shadow graduate students.
  • Holocaust survivor Jack Adler spoke to seventh graders sharing a powerful account of his experiences and spoke about the dangers of bullies and the importance of respecting one another. Mr. Adler has published a book called Y: A Holocaust Narrative; or you can read more about his story here: https://www.cpr.org/news/story/denver-holocaust-survivor-jack-adler
  • STEM hosted its first TEDx event as students gave talks on innovation, adhering to the school’s motto of “Never Stop Innovating.”
  • Students took part in the 2019 National History Day Greater Denver Metro Regionals and took home the following awards: Senior Group Performance (Third Place: Lorelei Haycock, Ashley Stafford, Emily McNicholas Emily, Lilia Ransom, Samantha Lee), Senior Individual Website (First Place: Sophia Watts; Second Place: Julian Knight; Third Place: Grace Bielefeldt), Senior Group Website (First Place: Maria Prosperi, Aimee Swindall, Callan Bendall), Senior Individual Documentary (Second Place: Kenan Korn), Senior Group Documentary (First Place: Jacopo Folgoni Borsa, Daniel Krawciw, Jadyn Lewis), Senior Individual Exhibit (First Place: Sean Mauch), Senior Group Exhibit (Third Place: Isabella Martinez, Lily Falkenberg, Cassidy Hickey)
  • First graders participated in a Toshiba Exploravision National Challenge and received a Honorable Mention award, which places their project among the top 10% of all projects submitted for the competition. They submitted a solution to solve the problem of recycling sorting where only 60% of recycled items are truly recyclable. Their solution called the Intelligent Recycling Syhttps://stem uses a camera based sensor combined with bar code scanners and Artificial intelligence based machine language learning tool that trains the syhttps://stem to identify common recyclable materials and sorts them efficiently. To make it better for our school and create awareness, they also designed visual posters, which were added in the elementary halls.
  • The Synchronous Learning Center (SYNK) at STEM  was recently featured in the U.S. Department of Education’s #RethinkSchool series at https://blog.ed.gov. The series features innovative schools and stories from students, parents and educators highlighting efforts across the nation to rethink school. #RethinkSchool: Family Relationship Opened Door to “Synchronous Learning” Between Colorado Schools (U.S. Dept. of Education Blog)
  • Riveting Connections Presents: 3-D Printing and STEM School
  • High School DECA Team competed at the State Competition, with two students (Dylan Jones and Adil Khan) placing fourthing in the Travel and Tourism event, receiving an invitation to the national competition.
  • Future City Colorado: STEM School Highlands Ranch MS students won 4th place at the Regional competition for Future City Colorado competition (https://futurecity.org/colorado) at School of Mines. Congratulations to students: Kaley K. (6th grade), Jatin P. (8th), Ethan F. (8th), Taekyung K. (8th) & Coach: Mrs. Simi Basu. Their theme was Powering Our Future! They designed a resilient power grid for their future city that can withstand and quickly recover from the impacts of a natural disaster. This was their first time competing and students did an amazing job. Read more about it HERE.
  • Matchwits: Congratulations to STEM students Paul Harmston, Parker Mowery, Aldrin Feliciano, Michal Bodzianowski, Vrishank Bikkumalla for placing 7th out of 28 school in the Rocky Mountain PBS Matchwits Qualification Tournament. The top 16 schools have now advanced to the On-Air Tournament in Pueblo, November 2-4. The STEM team is scheduled to compete the morning of November 3. Learn more about the competition by watching this short video.
  • BEST Robotics: Congratulations to the STEM HS BEST Robotics team who had their strongest performance ever at their Hub competition. First place in Robot Game, first place for the overall BEST Award, first place in Sportsmanship, and winners of the Founders Award for Creative Robot Design. This was one of the hardest robot challenges in memory and this team really rose to the occasion, under the guidance of parent/mentors Nikki and Scott Baird. The team will move on to Regionals in early December. Also, a strong day for the Middle School team, in only their second year, whose hard work led to being named a Regionals Alternate.
  • FIRST Robotics: The FIRST Robotics Team competed in the First Out of State Regionals in Oklahoma City, finishing 26th out of 62 teams.
  • High School Computer Science Teacher Cameron Ryan received the 2018 Broncos Tackle STEM Coach of the Month Award presented at the Colorado Technology Association’s Apex Awards. He was one of three finalists across the state honored at the annual black tie banquet. Two STEM students also won recognition there, Reade Webb and Jordon Monk, for their outstanding accomplishments in both school and Careerwise.
  • A team of students and teachers were honored to be guest speakers at the National Cybersecurity Symposium in Colorado Springs. Middle School student Tavin T. and Senior Julia M. both presented, along with teachers Simi Basu and Cameron Ryan.
  • STEM was recognized for innovation and collaboration as a finalist in the Excellence in Technology Enabled Learning category at the Colorado Succeeds celebration. The Succeeds Prize is the most prestigious awards and recognition event for Colorado’s public schools and educators, aimed at scaling successful innovations and practices across Colorado.
  • In addition to being named a World-Leading Leader in Education and recognized for our Career Discovery Program, our students were featured on Fox31 Denver and MHI Solutions industry trade publication. Our students, teachers, and staff continue to set the bar for our fearless educational model that never stops innovating. In addition, our athletic program and Enrichment offerings continue to grow, providing new and exciting opportunities for students.
  • John Irwin Schools of Excellence Awards
  • CyberPatriots Competition: Middle School students take 1st and 2nd in State.
  • STEM High School takes first place in ACT scores among Douglas County Schools
  • Increased our rank on Colorado School Grades from 11th to 9th out of 345 in Colorado high schools.
  • National History Day: STEM students place 6th in the entire nation in the Senior Division.
  • Future Business Leaders of America: School receives Chapter of the Year award.
  • Students featured on front page of Denver Post for their collaborative synchronous learning.
  • Technology Students Association: Our TSA teams placed first in 23 categories at the State competition.
  • Theater: STEM’s creative theater department brings the first-ever high school immersion theater presentation to Colorado.  Denver Post article about the play “Hotel Ten.”
  • Career Discovery: Nearly 40 students at school employed in professional work environments for credit and real-world life experience.
  • America’s Top Young Scientist: STEM 7th grader receives national award as “America’s top young scientist” for inventing a quick, low-cost test to detect lead-contaminated water. Gitanjali Rao was selected from 10 finalists who had spent three months collaborating with scientists to develop their ideas.