Excellence in STEM Education

Why STEM? 

By 2020, 55% of the top jobs in Colorado — those with projected high openings and above-average growth rates that offer a family-supporting wage — will require skills in STEM. Yet, currently, Colorado is filling STEM jobs by importing qualified talent from outside the state. STEM career pathways also tend to have low percentage of workers who are women and people of color, even as Colorado grows more diverse.

The Excellence in STEM Education Award, sponsored by Ball Corporation recognizes outstanding examples of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education within a public school across Colorado. 

The Succeeds Prize recognizes that educators across the state are working to provide students with meaningful STEM learning opportunities that will prepare them to enter and succeed in STEM careers. The STEM Award is intended to recognize examples of what’s working in STEM education in Colorado and provide local examples that educators across the state can learn from. The winning school will receive a $15,000 cash prize and will work with Colorado Succeeds, 9NEWS, and mindSpark Learning to tell the story of its success to educators, policymakers, and businesses across the state.

The deadline for this award has already passed.

Please check back in early 2019 for next year’s application!

Who's Eligible?

All Colorado public schools, traditional and charter, are eligible to apply for this award.

What are the Criteria?

The Succeeds Prize believes that being a “STEM” school can take many forms. That said, what makes a school a model for STEM education entails something different from a traditional education setting. We believe that all successful STEM schools will share the following set of broad criteria:

  1. A STEM model goes beyond traditional course offerings and offers engineering, programming, robotics, technology, and of course math and science in a connected model that ALL students at the school can access.
  2. In addition to academic skills, students develop and apply soft skills (21st century skills) such as problem solving, collaboration, and other skills routinely throughout their day.
  3. Students engage with STEM industry and/or higher education partners to provide career development and career modeling as appropriate for students’ age.
  4. Whatever your school’s STEM model, it is something all stakeholders can define and rally around.
  5. A focus on equity in STEM education and explicit focus supporting and attracting students who are not traditionally represented in STEM careers.

What is the Selection Process?

Application: To be considered for The Succeeds Prize for Excellence in STEM Education, schools must submit an application. The application is an opportunity to showcase how your school demonstrates the above criteria.

Review & Finalist Selection: The STEM Award Selection Committee will review all applications to determine three finalist schools based on the above criteria.

Site Visits: Once the three finalists are chosen, members of the committee will visit each finalist campus to meet with the schools’ stakeholders to learn more. These visits will take place between the time the finalists are announced and the end of the school year, and be scheduled at a time that works best for the schools and committee members. The committee will want to hear from the school’s leadership, teachers, students, parents, and partners.

Live Reveal: The winner will be announced at The Succeed Prize live reveal celebration on September 18, 2018 at The Ellie Caulkins Opera House. Finalists and winners will be asked to participate in storytelling and a professional development campaign to highlight their work throughout the year.


Selection Committee

The Selection Committee advised the methodology for selection, conducted school visits, and determined winners in the Excellence in STEM Education Award, Sponsored by Ball Corp.

Chris Chavez
Director of Global Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Relations, Ball Corporation

Kellie Lauth
CEO, mindSpark Learning
*Non-voting committee member

Janet McGrew
Senior Recruiter, Orica

Manuel Ramsey
Principal, Bristol Elementary; The Succeeds Prize 2017 STEM Award Winner 

Kathryn Regas
Graduate Program Assistant, Orica

Melissa Risteff
CEO, Couragion

Sylvia Robinson
Communications & HR Program Manager, Tolmar

Ashley Ruiz
Diversity, Inclusion & Community Relations Director, McKinstry

Jacqueline Thompson
STEAM Coordinator, Bristol Elementary; The Succeeds Prize 2017 STEM Award Winner

Denise Whinnen
Director of Colorado Programs, The Gill Foundation

Read more

John Hayes CEO of Ball corporation
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“STEM-related skills play a very big part in what we do each day at Ball and we believe that a robust STEM education is critical to the success of Colorado’s communities and workforce.”
john hayes, ceo of ball corp.
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The most prestigious awards and recognition event for Colorado's public schools and educators