St. Vrain in Motion

  • Written by: Kerri McDermid
  • Photos by: Aaron Ford

St. Vrain is taking engaging learning experiences on the road

For over thirty years, Ms. Frizzle and her Magic School Bus have graced the pages of books lining school library shelves that have inspired the imagination of millions of students across the world. The idea of students boarding a bus to be transported through time and space to engage deeply in learning about science, history, geography, and more, is just as memorable today as it was when the first book was published in 1986. The difference is that this type of academic journey is now possible for students in St. Vrain Valley Schools.

Technology has become an incredibly powerful tool to advance personalized learning and accelerate communication and collaboration. Every day in classrooms across St. Vrain, students are leveraging technology and design-thinking processes to foster innovation, understand complex systems, imagine new possibilities, and discover subjects of passion that will shape their future pathways. With the launch of the ST. VRAINNOVATION Future-Ready Innovation Lab, St. Vrain is taking those experiences on the road to build an even broader reach to inspire learning through technology.

The ST. VRAINNOVATION Future-Ready Innovation Lab is a cutting-edge technology and innovation center in a mobile environment, emphasizing virtual reality, augmented reality, robotics, design thinking, and aeronautics, as well as STEM and early educational experiences that will accelerate students’ learning and extend public education beyond the classroom.

“The Mobile Lab is a showcase of the innovative learning that takes place in St. Vrain Valley Schools every day and the possibilities that are just around the corner,” said Colin Rickman, coordinator of the Mobile Innovation Lab. “Our vision is to engage families in learning together and to bring advanced, interactive, and meaningful experiences to our schools.”

Funded entirely through donations from industry and community partners, the Mobile Innovation Lab not only provides an environment to enhance student learning and pilot new curriculums and technologies, it also serves as a bridge between the community and classroom learning.

“I see the Mobile Lab as a part of the ever-growing bridge between the community, connecting families to St. Vrain Valley Schools. It’s incredible to witness visitors have a moment of awe when they first walk into the lab, and experience an ‘aha’ moment.”

Calvin Tran, Sophomore, Skyline High

The St. Vrainnovation future-ready innovation lab is fully funded by these and many other industry and nonprofit partners.

Amazon, Buckeye Mountain, Misty Robotics, Sphero, Seagate, SparkFun, and Western Digital

Thank you to our community for supporting the advancement of public education and outstanding opportunities for our students.

"We choose to go to the moon..."

On a sunny Friday afternoon in August, the Mobile Innovation Lab was stationed in downtown Longmont at the Longmont Area Chamber of Commerce’s Unity in the Community event. As students and community members stepped onto the lab, they were instantly transported to the moon. John F. Kennedy’s unmistakable New England accent rang through the air...“We choose to go to the moon in this decade…” while video of space travel illuminated the environment.

On this day, student leaders on the Mobile Lab Team were sharing learning experiences that showcased how students use technology to deepen and extend their learning. ‘Space travelers’ who were visiting the lab took pictures on the moon against a green screen background, created videos that highlighted facts about the physics of gravity, used virtual reality and augmented reality to explore lunar environments, and shared their moonshot ideas for creating a better world. Outside the lab, budding astronauts tried their hand at using coding and Sphero robotics to navigate lunar landscapes and got a first-hand look at advanced technologies that will continue to shape the future of learning and innovation.

“I see the Mobile Lab as a part of the ever-growing bridge between the community, connecting families to St. Vrain Valley Schools. “It’s incredible to witness visitors have a moment of awe when they first walk into the lab and experience an ‘aha’ moment,” shared Calvin Tran, a sophomore at Skyline High School and a member of the Mobile Lab Team. “While education used to be more black and white for me, the Mobile Lab opened my eyes to the dynamic nature that St. Vrain is adding to our education, revolutionizing the way that kids learn.”

On the horizon, the Mobile Innovation Lab will serve as a facilitator and incubator of innovation at the nexus of industry and education. Students will have the opportunity to connect with doctors at UCHealth to design the hospital room of the future, engage IBM experts to advance artificial intelligence environments, or learn alongside Crestone Peak Resources engineers to investigate the innovations in energy.

“Every time the lab is out on the road and opens its doors to people, I believe they will be inspired by what is happening in St. Vrain and public education,” added Rickman.

As the Mobile Innovation Lab makes its way across St. Vrain Valley Schools and beyond, it will continue to build new curriculum and learning opportunities for students to engage deeply with partners and showcase innovation to the community. Innovations that Ms. Frizzle could have only imagined.

By the Numbers: Technology and Innovation

iPads throughout the district along with approximately 10,000 Chromebooks.
unique applications for learning.
computing devices throughout the district supported by a team of 11 technicians.
increase in the number of students participating in competitive robotics over the past five years.

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ST. VRAINNOVATION was produced in-house by the St. Vrain Department of Communications.
ST. VRAINNOVATION and other district initiatives are generously supported by these and many other community sponsors.

© 2019 - St. Vrain Valley Schools