The three mountain elementary schools — Red Feather, Livermore and Stove Prairie — came down to visit the plains for a special field trip. The students visited Bartels Farm, a local pumpkin patch just northwest of Fort Collins.
There's been a rhythmic hum emanating from the new makerspace at Shepardson Elementary.
The DIY area housed within the school's media center is designed to encourage students to tinker, create and invent. But amidst 3D printers and electric circuit building kits, one of the most popular technologies is more traditional: sewing machines.
"I have several hundred dollars worth of robots, but everyone is intrigued by the sewing machines," media and technology manager Becky Woodcox said with a smile.
When Deenya Young enrolled her kindergartner Skyler in after-school Chinese and Spanish classes at Traut Elementary, she envisioned her growing up knowing how to communicate with the majority of the world's population.
Now, five years later, Skyler has advanced through the class levels, comfortably reading and writing Chinese characters and chatting in Spanish.
"I look forward to foreign language class almost every day," Skyler said.
An annual tradition at Cache La Poudre Middle School got a sophisticated refresh this year. Art and technology teachers collaborated to come up with a unique new project for River Week: making fishing poles!
First, students collected willow branches from the river banks to use as poles.
A group of pre-teens gathers regularly in the media center at Preston Middle School to Skype and chat online with students around the world, working collaboratively to engineer sustainable lanterns for people who live without reliable electricity.
"There are amazing things about tech and social media that are getting us to places we could never have been without them," media specialist Tracey Winey, who coordinates the program, said.
On a chilly, gray day in September, about twenty students from Poudre High School gathered on the shore of Horsetooth Reservoir to learn the basics of stand-up paddleboarding. There was laughter and a sense of camaraderie as the students carefully paddled out into the water and tremulously tried to stand-up on their board for the first time.
"When we're out of the classroom everyone's personalities open up, which is cool to see," senior Austin Davis said.