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STEM School Brings History To Life




At the STEM School and Academy in Highlands Ranch history doesn't always spark an interest with students. That was the reality facing A.P. World History teacher Owen Cegielski when he started teaching there six years ago.

So he had a thought. What if he could bring history to life? So he assembled a team of students to play a game - recreate Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and convince him not to declare war. His team consisted of a 3D modeler, an electrician, programmers, and an artist.

In a matter of three weeks the team of eleven sophomores created a talking head of the Kaiser. It responds to questions. It has emotions. It ultimately will be swayed to declare or not declare war based on interactions. Cegielski calls the achievement "an educational miracle."

The students have gained a whole new appreciation for the past. "History lives on in what we do today and that’s a lesson that’s really been driven home in this class," said Benjamin Krawciw, who came up with the concept of the talking head. No one is starting a war, but bringing history to life is pretty revolutionary. Cegielski knows "This is something that we’re all going to take away and remember for the rest of our lives."

February 23, 2017 | By ccheline | Category: Charter Schools

District News

Last month, the Board of Education passed a resolution tasking the Superintendent to convene a task force inclusive of members of the general public and staff members. This task force will develop a survey for parents of students eligible for special education services and a survey for staff members who serve students eligible for special education services.

Board members sitting at the dais

CASTLE ROCK - On February 6, the Douglas County School District (DCSD) Board of Education confirmed its commitment to begin the process of seeking approval from voters for additional local funding.

“Our children need a bond and mill levy override (MLO) to be passed in 2018, beyond any doubt,” said DCSD Board of Education President David Ray. “We want to move forward immediately with the necessary processes and collaboration with our community in order to finalize a formal funding package.”

Eleven Douglas County School District schools have been named recipients of the 2017 John Irwin Schools of Excellence Awards. The John Irwin awards are given to schools that demonstrate exceptional academic achievement over time. These schools received an "Exceeds Expectations" rating on the Academic Achievement indicator of the School Performance Frameworks reflecting exceptional performance in Math, English Language Arts, and Science.