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10-acre land donation for innovative next-generation ag high school

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Cal Fulenwider III, chairman and CEO of L.C.  Fulenwider Inc., announced a donation of 10 acres of land, valued at an estimated $3 million dollars for a 27J public charter. The intent is for the science-based high school to be focused on next-generation agriculture. The school is slated to open in Commerce City, Colorado, in the fall of 2021 with 165 ninth graders and will support an estimated 660 students at full build-out, growing a grade per year.

With an anticipated groundbreaking in late summer/early fall 2020, the STEAD School (Science, Technology, Environment, Agriculture, and Design) will be one of only a few schools of its kind, offering project-based learning and career and technical education to support the changing realities of modern agriculture. The curriculum is designed to attract and educate students with an interest in a broad range of career pathways in the animal, plant, environmental, and food sciences arenas, representing thousands of career possibilities for future leaders in business, policy, science, energy, and health.

“This concept is long overdue,” said Fulenwider. “Agriculture is a $41 billion dollar industry for Colorado, employing more than 170,000 people across the state. The agriculture industry remains one of the largest contributors to the State’s economy and we need to educate students to ensure sustainability for generations to come.”

Agriculture runs deep in the Fulenwider family. In the early 1900s, L.C. Fulenwider Sr. staked his claim in real estate when he moved to Colorado from Missouri. Fulenwider Sr. helped write Colorado Real Estate Licence Laws. “He was a true pioneer — a farm and ranchman through and through,” his son said. “He was one of the first brokers to combine farms and ranches through real estate deals. Our family’s philosophy has always been to use our land to create something the community can be proud of. Our enthusiasm for the STEAD School is absolute.”

STEAD is a science-based, personalized learning experience. The school will integrate business entrepreneurship development into the curriculum, to be aligned with post-secondary institutions like Colorado State University and Colorado’s community college system. This integration offers students the opportunity to earn college credits while enrolled in high school.

The STEAD mission is to transform the educational experience from a listen-and-learn to an experience-and-do. “STEAD will allow students to follow their passions, dig deeper, ask more, debate with confidence and push boundaries as they apply their hands-on learning to tangible issues locally and globally,” said Amy Schwartz, Director BuildStrong Foundation and co-founder of the school. “The campus will spark ideas, encourage meaningful debate and broad thinking.”

The curriculum combines science, technology, engineering and math with the important elements of the environment, agriculture, and systems-design thinking that are each necessary in the environmentally-conscience world students are concerned with today. Although STEM schools are emerging nationwide creating an amazing transformation for the K-12 educational system, the STEAD approach creates a learning environment engaging and empowering students who will own their paths from the first day they walk onto STEAD’s campus.

For more information about STEAD School, visit www.thesteadschool.org.

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