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.

Finding Industry Partners

One way to help Career Discovery support mentorships and internships is to share the Building Ships webpage with subject matter experts in businesses and industries. Please direct any prospective industry or business mentors to our survey via the button to the right. 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.

Internship Beyond STEM Career Discovery

Students are encouraged to research internship opportunities outside of STEM. Many of these may qualify for STEM Internship Credit. Our Career Discovery team is available to help students navigate opportunities outside of STEM as well as the policies and paperwork required by DCSD and the state.

What Makes STEM Career Discovery Unique?

  • We are able to work with subject matter experts to design mentorships and internships that align with our student’s interests.
  • Our Building Ships Executive-Level Advisory Board works with us to make sure our efforts prepare students to thrive in their future careers and lives.
  • We collaborate with other schools, educational organizations, and state organizations like Colorado Workforce Development to make sure our students are connected with an entire network of support.

Student and Parent Voices

We would like to create HS Student and Parent Advisory Committees to inform our efforts.

  1. Building Ships HS Student Advisory Committee
  2. Building Ships HS Parent Advisory Committee

If you are a High School student or parent that would like to be involved in an advisory committee, please complete the interest survey via the button to the right.


STEM School Highlands Ranch is one of only 18 schools in the state of Colorado approved as a P-TECH School (Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools). STEM currently offers the Robotics and Automation (formerly mechatronics) and Cybersecurity pathways.  These pathways allow students to earn an Associate of Applied Science in Robotics and Automation degree or an Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity from Arapahoe Community College.

Robotics and Automation is a synergetic integration of mechanical, electrical, control, automation, robotics, computer systems for industry and computer engineering technologies. Cybersecurity prepares students to access the security needs of computer and network systems, recommend safeguard solutions, and manage the implementation and maintenance of security devices, systems and procedures. 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.


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 9-12.

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.

Career Discovery News

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)
  • Lockheed Martin Aerospace Tuesday Forums (Every Tuesday @ 3:00 pm via zoom) For HS Students or teachers with a high interest in aerospace
  • Healthcare Research Forums (TBA – Spring 2022)
  • Industry Dinners and/or Panel Discussions (TBA – Fall 2021)
  • Subject Matter Expert Presentations (TBA – Fall 2021)
  • Student-Led Presentations (TBA – Fall 2021)