SCENIC: Science-Engineering Inquiry Collaborative In Rural Colorado

Program Contact

Daniel Knight

knightdw@colorado.edu

Science-Engineering Inquiry Collaborative In Rural Colorado (SCENIC) fills the need for ongoing CU Boulder engineering outreach in the area of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in underserved rural K-12 schools in Colorado.

This project connects CU Boulder faculty and students with rural high schools to develop student-driven, inquiry-based science projects.

Project Goals

  • Prepare cutting-edge environmental engineering tools applied to science inquiry for K-12 classrooms
  • Deploy CU Boulder student mentors to support K-12 teachers and students in implementing project-based learning based on these tools
  • Foster collaboration between CU Boulder’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the School of Education, regional universities and rural public schools to develop, research and evaluate the initiative.

Teacher and superintendent assessments from partner school districts have expressed the need for additional STEM education support in their districts and the further development of an academic pathway from their school districts to CU Boulder.

Previous assessment results also indicate a population underrepresented in university STEM majors with 60% of participants who are female, 37% who are Hispanic, and 48% who are the first generation in their families to attend college. CU Boulder partners include the College of Engineering and Applied Science whose role is to design the educational technology employed in the program and the CU Boulder School of Education whose role is to research the impact of the program on participants.

The program has also expanded to include partners in the mechanical engineering program at Mesa State University who serve as a local resource for schools in the Grand Junction, CO area. External partners are the Delta County School District including Hotchkiss, Paonia and Delta high schools, Weld County School District 6 partner Union Colony Preparatory school, Lone Star School District partner Lone Star High School, Jeffco School District including Ken Caryl Middle School, and Mesa County Valley School District 51 partners Palisade High School and Fruita Monument High School.

The SCENIC program is currently in its seventh year of integration into science courses in rural Colorado. The SCENIC curriculum is delivered via a CU Boulder class: Project Based Learning in Rural Schools, offered in the Department of Mechanical Engineering to prepare CU Boulder student mentors to travel and interact with rural schools. Projects culminate in a Science and Engineering Symposium at partner schools where K-12 students display their projects via a poster session to members of their local community. Symposium winners are offered a trip to CU Boulder and tour of campus labs, facilities and events.

A similar program just completed its pilot year in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia in partnership with Public Lab Mongolia. Six university students from the National University of Mongolia taught students at three high schools in the greater Ulaanbaatar area in the first year of the partnership.

  • Fruita High School

    Location

    In Colorado

    Fruita

    Dates

    Ongoing

    Public or Private

    Private Program (by request only or for a specific audience or group)

    Program Fee

    No charge to attend/participate in activity or program

    Additional Info

    Our first year of the program at Fruita Monument High School was a success!

  • SCENIC: Delta Chapter

    Location

    In Colorado

    Delta

    Dates

    Ongoing

    Public or Private

    Private Program (by request only or for a specific audience or group)

    Program Fee

    No charge to attend/participate in activity or program

    Additional Info

    Delta High School

  • SCENIC: Hotchkiss Chapter

    Location

    In Colorado

    Hotchkiss

    Dates

    Ongoing

    Public or Private

    Private Program (by request only or for a specific audience or group)

    Program Fee

    No charge to attend/participate in activity or program

    Additional Info

    Hotchkiss High School

  • SCENIC: Ken Caryl Chapter

    Location

    In Colorado

    Littleton

    Dates

    Ongoing

    Public or Private

    Private Program (by request only or for a specific audience or group)

    Program Fee

    No charge to attend/participate in activity or program

    Additional Info

    Ken Caryl Middle School

  • SCENIC: Lone Star Chapter

    Location

    In Colorado

    Otis

    Dates

    Ongoing

    Public or Private

    Private Program (by request only or for a specific audience or group)

    Program Fee

    No charge to attend/participate in activity or program

    Additional Info

    Lone Star High School

  • SCENIC: Palisade Chapter

    Location

    In Colorado

    Palisade

    Dates

    Ongoing

    Public or Private

    Private Program (by request only or for a specific audience or group)

    Program Fee

    No charge to attend/participate in activity or program

    Additional Info

    Palisade High School

  • SCENIC: Paonia Chapter

    Location

    In Colorado

    Paonia

    Dates

    Ongoing

    Public or Private

    Private Program (by request only or for a specific audience or group)

    Program Fee

    No charge to attend/participate in activity or program

    Additional Info

    Paonia High School

  • SCENIC: Union Colony Chapter

    Location

    In Colorado

    Evans

    Dates

    Ongoing

    Public or Private

    Private Program (by request only or for a specific audience or group)

    Program Fee

    No charge to attend/participate in activity or program

    Additional Info

    Union Colony High School

Sponsoring Units

  • College of Engineering & Applied Science

  • Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • School of Education

Program Partners

  • CMU/CU Boulder Engineering Partnership Programs
  • Delta County School District: Hotchkiss, Paonia, Delta High Schools
  • Weld County School District: Union Colony Preparatory high school
  • Lone Star School District: Lone Star High School
  • Jeffco School District: Ken Caryl Middle School
  • Mesa County Valley School District 51: Palisade, Fruita Monument High Schools
  • Mongolia: Public Lab Mongolia, National University of Mongolia

Audiences Served

  • Minority Group(s)
  • Rural Communities
  • Students - Middle School
  • Students - High School
  • Teachers - Middle School
  • Teachers - High School