Building Ships

Partnerships, Friendships, Mentorships, Internships, Relationships, Sponsorships

About Building Ships

Vision: Students who are connected to an entire community feel supported and will thrive in joyful learning opportunities.

Mission: We are inviting industry, community, and businesses to join us in making sure every student has the kind of “ships” that promote kindness, readiness for future careers, and passion for infinite opportunities to help humanity.  

Legacy: Students who thrive in joyful learning do this with the help of their teachers, other students, industry partners, and a community that fosters their love for life and learning.  They are the kind of students that want other students to experience the miracle of learning and the joy of discovery and innovation. One way to honor them is to make sure every child has the same opportunity.

“There are all kinds of challenges these days that people are trying to solve, and we’re done with the easy problems. We’re entering grand challenges that aren’t going to be solved by a person or company, they’re going to be solved by a community.”   

                           – Scott Sieke, a graduate student at CU Boulder who works with Science Discovery

Our industry, business, and educational partners at STEM School Highlands Ranch are essential to student success. They help us understand real-world problems and solutions. As subject matter experts and community partners they empower student learning, support teachers, and help us prepare students for the future.
In an effort to update our contacts and clarify the level of involvement that best fits your availability for the 2021-2022 school year, we are asking industries and businesses to complete a short survey. 

Building Ships Interviews for the SyncUp Colorado Challenge

We were finalists.

Official Challenge Question:

How might we accelerate education-to-employment partnerships that support Coloradans ages 12-24 to make informed choices and obtain job relevant skills to build quality careers?

Although we did not win the grand prize, SyncUp continues to promote our solution to multiple funders and others who are supporting opportunities for students.

Our Building Ships Executive-Level Advisory Board met in September to share their advice. These industry leaders are an important link between what schools do and what we could be doing to better achieve our mission.

Mission: We are inviting industry, community, and businesses to join us in making sure every student has the kind of “ships” that promote kindness, readiness for future careers, and passion for infinite opportunities to help humanity.

Please enjoy their advice below and know that we have been implementing pilots and projects to honor what they have suggested.

Who to contact

Gregg Cannady staff photo
Gregg Cannady
Collaboration and Concept Development

Current Building Ships Advisory Board

Get Involved

There are infinite ways to get involved.
  • Career Discovery (mentorships, internships, industry events)
  • Job shadowing
  • Classroom presentations (K-12)
  • SME (subject matter expert) for teachers and students (K-12)
  • Field Trips to Your Site (Virtual and *In Person) *following COVID-19 guidelines
  • Leveraging your network to support innovative projects and ideas.

Building Ships in the News

Check out the February 2021 Edition of STEM Magazine on a great article about Building Ships!
Check out the March 2021 Edition of STEM Magazine on a great article about Building Ships!
Check out the June 2021 Edition of STEM Magazine on a great article about Martian Greenhouse Collaboration (page 6)

Why Building Ships Matters

Student Testimonial

“Being a part of this program has helped connect me with someone who currently works in the field I am currently interested in pursuing. This has already proven to be an extremely valuable experience in just the first couple of weeks. I’ve already learned about extremely valuable life skills and been able to set some expectations for after graduating high school. In addition, I’ve been able to get a general idea of what I need to do in order to get involved in this field and actually get a job after graduating college. I can’t wait to see what the near future holds!”
– Caleb (STEM Student)

Mentor Narratives

Wilfredo Santiago

Deep Space Exploration Engineer Lockheed Martin

Wil is a mentor for the Fall 2021 Lockheed Martin Executive HS Internship Program. In this program, STEM students are working with students from Jeffco to solve problems related to deep space exploration.

“Growing up in Puerto Rico and attending a small school with a graduating class of less than 45 students, I didn’t know if my dreams of working on space missions were even remotely possible. STEM was not a term I ever heard until much later in college. I found inspiration and encouragement through some amazing teachers and my family. Since I didn’t have many of the resources and opportunities available today, mentoring is somewhat personal to me. I wholeheartedly enjoy sharing my experience and lessons learned, but I very quickly realize that there is so much more that I always learn from the students. Their talent, creativity, passion, and drive is nothing short of inspiring and energizing.

One of my favorite mentoring moments is when I step back and hear the teams asking themselves what are the key driving requirements for their project, strategizing how to solve a problem, analyzing all the different variables, doing the research, and executing a plan. It’s humbling to work with the explorers of tomorrow whom are willing and able to take those extra steps today that will undoubtedly drive positive change in our world and beyond. The students may not realize it yet, but what they are working on right now will help engineer a better tomorrow. Their families, instructors, and program facilitators are making an investment that is simply incalculable, and I’m grateful to play a small part in this endeavor.”

Dan Wunder

US Healthcare Company

Dan Wunder (US Healthcare Company) is a mentor for a STEM student interested in cyber security and all things computer science.

“I think that if education is about teaching students “what is”, then mentorship is exposing them to possibilities. You can’t teach wisdom or experience, but through mentorship, you can give them the tools (and hopefully the interest) to seek out both on their own. It’s probably a crude analogy, but if a country represents the entirety of what can be known, then educators get students familiar with the major highways & the rules of the road (knowledge). Mentorship is about showing them about the many smaller roads and that these can connect to others, as well as to other major highways. As they explore these smaller roads, they learn how to drive better (experience) and what to look out for along the way (wisdom). That leaves their interest, drive, determination, and a natural aptitude to determine how far they go on these roads.”

Doug Daniels

Head of Google Cloud - Healthcare and Life Sciences - West Region Denver Metropolitan Area

Doug Daniels has been a mentor for STEM for several years, and now is a mentor for one of our students in the STEM Career Discovery’s Career Mentor Program. Doug is a mentor to Caleb (see student testimonial above).

“Being a parent of two children who attended STEM, I’ve personally witnessed the unique learning and problem-solving environment that makes a STEM education so valuable today. Being part of Google has given me the opportunity to sponsor student visits to our Boulder campus and “life in the day of a Googler” activities. Additionally, helping students understand trends in the workplace and desired skills helps open the conversation with these passionate students who love to build a deeper understanding of our world. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of their learning environment”

Dan Adamo

Astrodynamics Consultant

Dan Adamo is a mentor for a Belize HS team in Martian Greenhouse 2.0. Our AIAA Distinguished Mentors help all twelve teams in this international collaborative learning adventure. ​​

“I’d say being a mentor is a way for me to “pay it forward” in my aerospace profession. I’m only able to substantively contribute to this profession because, as Sir Isaac would say, “I’ve stood on the shoulders of giants.” Without the mentorship of my predecessors, I’d be profoundly ignorant. Mentoring from which I’ve benefitted has been delivered both in-person and through published works in print and electronic media. My aim has been to offer reciprocal educational outreach to all takers throughout my career.”