Soaring Heights PK8 has a focus on neuroscience with an emphasis on STEM education that is implemented across grade levels that creates a framework for students to engage in a series of hands-on, student-driven, design thinking activities. This is a hybrid model that brings together traditional aspects of SVVSD curriculum with more innovative and cutting-edge practices that are designed to prepare students for the jobs of the future. Each of these project-based activities are rooted in the standards and will complement core instruction, but can be a stand-alone module. The application of this framework offers students a variety of entry points to study how the brain affects learning and behavior based on student interest and grade level appropriateness.
These activities will not only drive content knowledge but facilitate the development of “soft skills” needed to navigate the workforce of today and the future successfully. As improvements in technology continually take over more routine human tasks, the importance of soft skills (like the ability to think logically and critically, communicate effectively, give and receive feedback, show empathy towards others, and instill a genuine curiosity) are increasingly in demand. This hybrid model takes into account the need to push and transform the way students learn, while still operating within the traditional paradigm of public education.
We are working closely with Anschutz Medical, Nepris, Ocean First, University of Colorado and Erie High School to develop joint projects and a continuum of course offerings along with summer internships and direct interactions with experts in the field. This will not only develop a clear trajectory for our students in a PK-12 system, but will support our students to be able to successfully navigate the challenges of an increasingly complex world. Additionally, we are working with the Innovation Center to develop complementary course offerings and the possibility of creating some online elective courses at the middle school level.
Through this framework, students are exposed to the components of neuroscience and its application to many subject areas in an increasingly sophisticated approach. Before and after school enrichment activities will also support these in school experiences. In short, this framework provides a systematic approach for students that will propel them into advanced scientific concepts and project- based activities.