At STEM School Highlands Ranch, we are more than just STEM…

We put innovation in the center of learning to prepare students to thrive in an ever-changing world. From science and technology to the environment and global economy, we know that the future will be full of reinvention and change. This is why our academic curriculum offers a creative, exciting and challenging academic model that uniquely blends the limitless potential of every child with a fun, empowering STEM-infused learning environment, putting innovation in the center of learning while fostering the creativity, critical thinking and collaboration that will be needed to succeed in the 21st century and beyond.

We believe that in order to teach innovation, we need to innovate the way we teach and learn. Both are in a constant state of creation and change.


Our curriculum is challenging but not about churning out facts and figures. Students are challenged by working collaboratively to question, build and design solutions to real world problems.

Real-World Problem Solving

Through hands-on, real world problem solving, students learn critical thinking, collaboration, safe-failure and applied innovation.

Student Centered

Our student-centered, teacher guided approach makes learning more engaging, exciting and empowering for all parties, while encouraging well-rounded student development.

Unlimited Potential

We believe in the unlimited potential of every child and we use the power of innovation to help every child succeed in an exponentially changing world.

Music, Language, Creative Arts, Theater and Foreign Languages

To us, STEM is much more than an acronym, a curriculum or program. It’s a way of seeing, thinking and doing in the world that empowers students and prepares them for a 21st century world. As an early adopter in the STEM education movement, we know that the power of STEM is not limited to an exceptional STEM curriculum.

We unlock the potential of our students by integrating STEM principles – such as asking questions, exploring possibilities and designing solutions into many academic areas, including humanities and arts. At STEM School Highlands Ranch, our music, arts and language programs are as rich as our computer, science and technology programs.

Innovation in Action

Walk down any hall here at STEM School Highlands Ranch and you can hear the sounds and feel the energy of innovation happening in every classroom. Below are some examples of ‘innovation in action’ at STEM School Highlands Ranch:

High School history class integrates the learning of World War I by having students create the artificial intelligences of WW I leaders include Kaiser Wilhelm II and Woodrow Wilson. Artistic design of the leader’s heads, research into their personalities and engineering and computer programming of their artificial intelligences.

Music students write, compose and perform original works using Ableton Live, professional sound and editing software.Middle School social studies, art, music, language arts, computers and natural sciences come together as 7th graders create Virtual Reality Holocaust museums. Utilizing Blender, Unity and UnReal 3-D software, the students’ vision of this historic period come alive.

Elementary School students combine computer coding, language arts and mathematics to engage and excite even our youngest learners.

Problem-Based Learning at STEM

Our KOSON Instructional Model is our secret sauce. It is what inspires our students and our staff every day. What is it? It is Problem-Based Learning, done the KOSON way. That means it is a teaching methodology where learning is student-centered and driven by relevant, real-world problems.

Throughout their instruction, students learn about a problem, ask questions, research, brainstorm solutions, test, analyze and take action, all while learning the state standards. Students access background knowledge and investigate standards, which are aligned concepts that might help solve the problem.

Standards-Based Learning at STEM

STEM School Highlands Ranch is moving toward Standards-Based Learning and Reporting to measure and communicate students’ learning and academic growth and achievement with greater accuracy. By switching we are able to provide clearer feedback to students based on specific learning goals.

In a traditional hundred-point grading sy, grades are generated from the work assigned to students. These scores often include points for extra credit or deductions for behavior, such as turning work in late, and are an average of all of these things. This sy does not take into account the learning process and doesn’t accurately show what a student can do. There are also biases within this sy since teachers apply points differently. Students often do not know what a grade means and grade meanings can vary from class to class. Earning points becomes the motivating factor for students, causing them to chase points instead of knowledge.

Standards-Based Learning focuses on the mastery of essential content.

Colorado READ Act Resources

Literacy Curriculum Transparency

Click on the Literacy Curriculum Transparency Icon to view the Literacy Curriculum Transparency dashboard. This dashboard provides stakeholders a state, district, school, and grade level view of literacy instructional Core, Supplemental, Intervention programming, services and supports, the number of students who have READ plans, and the number of students who have achieved reading competency.