Five years later, with the STEM Academy up and running, the staff at Skyline and the district applied for a Race To The Top grant, designed to encourage testing new ideas in education that could scale to the state and national level. The district was one of 16 recipients nationwide. The goal of this $16.6 million grant is to provide K-12 STEM education for all students in the Skyline High School feeder system, to improve graduation rates and post-secondary readiness for students through personalized programming, and to create an Innovation Center, where students can apply their STEM knowledge to real world projects.
The Innovation Center prepares students for successful STEM careers by partnering with industry to provide real world work experiences. Our mission is to match highly-skilled students with business, research and development opportunities, fostering analytical and problem-solving skills, encouraging entrepreneurial ambitions, and creating mentorships with experts in the STEM fields. By providing paid positions leading to work experience and intellectual property, we drive a culture of creativity, risk-taking, collaboration and innovation.
Our student designers have been learning from experts in a variety of fields. They are able to build websites, apps for a variety of mobile platforms, electronics, circuitry, robotics, biomedical, aerospace, environmental, structural and mechanical engineering projects. Over the years they have proposed ideas as simple as reinventing the lifejacket and as ambitious as automating the entire operation of a restaurant. They have proven time and again, not only that they can produce professional work, but also, that practical projects solidify knowledge gained in the classroom.