DEF Donates $50,000 for STEM Curriculum & Activity Kits

The district is planning for 59 new Lego Education SPIKE Prime sets that will help students deepen their abstract and critical thinking skills as they work to solve complex programs with Lego creations and then animate their creations with their new coding skills.

Each kit includes standards-aligned curriculum for teachers that allows them to dive right into next-generation learning for Durango students. These kits will provide critical access to cutting edge STEM educational opportunities that are often lacking in rural communities.

The district is also supplying 49 Lego robotics kits to the elementary schools, and 10 Lego kits to the new Big Picture High School Makerspace.   Other new elementary school equipment includes: 3-D printers, Spherobots, App development software, Microbits, drones, Littlebits, and construction tools.

Additionally, 9-R will be building out maker spaces in our district to utilize exciting new equipment as laser cutters, engravers, and soldering irons that inspire students to bolster their creative problem-solving skills with hands-on creation opportunities.  The Coding and Makerspace Initiative allows students to explore future profitable STEM fields such as engineering, computer programming, data analysis, and physics. The U.S. Labor Department reports STEM fields are growing at a rate that is twice the speed of growth in other non-STEM fields and provide jobs with competitive, significant living wages. Funds for this campaign were made available, in part, by Morehart Murphy Motors and several local donors who have benefited greatly from their careers in STEM fields.

 Dr. Karen Cheser, Durango School District Superintendent, says “We are so appreciative of DEF’s generous donation to help us prepare our students for future careers, providing equipment which fuels experiences that incorporate all of our Portrait of a Graduate competencies, while building excitement for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math)”.