Career Discovery

Our STEM Career Discovery program is the first of its kind for high school students in Colorado. The program offers students a menu of options to explore STEM fields in real-world settings that can potentially lead to an internship/apprenticeship or full- or part-time job after graduation and during college.

Career Discovery News

Who to Contact

Jessica Connelly
Jessica Connelly
Career Discovery Coordinator

Career Discovery Events

Career Discovery Events are for students in grades 9-12. The Career Discovery team will plan, fundraise, market and execute Career Discovery evening events, held each semester. These events help to guide high school students in their career discovery by bringing industry experts to the school for demonstrations and up close and personal exposure to a number of career fields.

  • Building Ships Student Advisory Committee Meetings (TBA – Fall 2021)
  • STEM HS Advisory Period Discussions & Presentations (TBA – Fall 2021)
  • Lockheed Martin Aerospace Tuesday Forums (TBA – Fall 2021)
  • Healthcare Research Forums (TBA – Fall 2021)
  • Industry Dinners and/or Panel Discussions (TBA – Fall 2021)
  • Subject Matter Expert Presentations (TBA – Fall 2021)
  • Student-Led Presentations (TBA Fall 2021)


STEM School Highlands Ranch is one of only 5 schools in the state of Colorado approved as a P-TECH School (Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools). STEM currently offers the mechatronics pathway which allows students to earn an Associate of Applied Science in Mechatronics Engineering Technology degree from Arapahoe Community College. Mechatronics is a synergetic integration of mechanical, electrical, control, automation, robotics, computer system for industry and computer engineering technologies. Students begin in 9th grade and go through 13th or 14th grade (i.e. high school and two equivalent years of college). P-Tech provides college education, relevant workplace skills, and paid internships! Check out this P-TECH Fact Sheet from 2018.

P-TECH allows students to begin in grade 9 and continue for up to six years in order to graduate with a high school diploma and industry-recognized associate degree, in addition to gaining relevant workplace skills and valuable internships. STEM School Highlands Ranch currently offers the mechatronics pathway, which is a synergetic integration of mechanical, electrical, control automation, robotics, computer systems for industry and computer engineering technologies.


CareerWise is for students in grades 11 and 12, in partnership with CareerWise Colorado. CareerWise is an organization that places our students in paid apprenticeships with industry leaders in four fields: financial services, business operations, advanced manufacturing and computers. Students should apply directly to CareerWise. The program requires a three-year commitment.

Building Ships

Building Ships connects students with industry partners to create real-world, hands-on opportunities to expand on their STEM-based curriculum.

Career Mentor Program (CMP)

CMP is for students in grades 10-12.

Students interested in CMP please fill out the Career Discovery Application. Upon completion of the application, you will be contacted by a member of the Career Discovery team to be interviewed so that we find the best match with your interests.

Through the academic year, students will meet with their mentors virtually via zoom, in person, or even shadowing them in the workplace.

The mentorship can be as short as one meeting or as extensive as the mentor and mentee want it to be.

Examples of mentorships include:

  • Giving advice for classes that prepare the mentee for success
  • Helping the mentee to understand the skills needed to thrive in their interests
  • Outlining what the mentee can do to better understand the intersection of their interests with the mentor’s background and experience
  • Connections to the mentor’s network of resources
  • There are only a few rules for this mentorship.
  • Mentor Completes a Background Check
  • Always meet with Mentee in a public place. (virtual is okay)
  • The mentor should not provide transportation at any time.
  • The mentee will keep a log of all communication, goals, accomplishments, and challenges.
  • We will ask both mentor and mentee to share the success of their mentorship with other mentors and mentees.
  • The mentee’s parents sign a liability form.

Mentorship is important to the DNA of STEM. We will support mentorships that are meaningful to both the mentee and the mentor.


Internships are for students in grades 11 and 12.  STEM School Highlands Ranch offers the opportunity for students to obtain general elective credit by participating in an approved internship experience that aligns with the student’s career aspirations.

Students interested in internships please fill out the Career Discovery Application. Upon completion of the application, you will be contacted by a member of the Career Discovery team to be interviewed so that we find the best match with your interests.

Internships offered by companies outside of STEM will be considered for STEM credit upon completion of the STEM Internship Policy paperwork and Approval by the Career Discovery team. Our team will help students complete the forms.