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Representation Matters: New Denver Academy High School Campos Foundation SmartLab Presents Opportunities for All Students

Written by Noel Johnson

Denver Academy (DA) proudly announces the inauguration of its latest triumph in education—the Denver Academy High School Campos SmartLab. This state-of-the-art facility marks a monumental leap forward in fostering hands-on learning experiences in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) for students. 

Comprising the Elementary School Campos SmartLab, the Middle School Campos SmartLab, and the High School Campos SmartLab, this trifecta underscores our commitment to delivering a comprehensive STEM curriculum. Creative Learning Systems (CLS), a Colorado-based company and creator of SmartLab, has once again partnered with Campos Foundation to supply cutting-edge learning systems, technology, and materials. The synergy between Campos, CLS, and DA ensures that students have unparalleled access to STEM projects, ranging from fundamental concepts to advanced applications. 

Equipped with cutting-edge technology, the Campos SmartLabs encompass an impressive array of tools from 3D printers and robotics kits to drones and podcasting equipment. These resources are designed to empower students and elevate their learning experiences to new heights. 

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Dr. Mindy Adair, the Director of Mathematics and Technology Integration Specialist at Denver Academy, expressed gratitude to all those who contributed to this remarkable initiative. While unable to attend, Wanda Zimmermann—renowned for her dedication to STEM education—was acknowledged for her pivotal role as the Instructional Leader and Primary Facilitator for the High School Campos SmartLab. Ms. Zimmermann’s impact in guiding students through mathematics, computer science, and technological explorations has been monumental. 

Dr. Adair took the audience on a personal journey, reflecting on her upbringing and educational challenges. From early influences instilled by her electrical engineer and mechanic father to the hurdles she faced in school, her story resonated deeply. She highlighted the importance of representation and messaging in STEM education, emphasizing the need to create spaces where students can feel a sense of belonging and achieve their full potential. 

In my undergraduate studies, I did not have one mathematics professor who was a woman. Representation matters. Messaging matters.

— Dr. Mindy Adair, Director of Mathematics and Technology Integration Specialist

With a career spanning over thirty years as a high school math teacher, department chair, college counselor, and dean of students, Dr. Adair brings a wealth of experience to the forefront of STEM education. Her dedication to empowering students through mathematics and her passion for fostering mathematical literacy shine through her engagements at local and national conferences. 

The High School Campos SmartLab stands as a testament to Denver Academy’s unwavering commitment to nurturing a generation of STEM enthusiasts. This initiative is a tribute to the collective efforts of the Campos Foundation, Denver Academy and Creative Learning Systems, inspiring students to believe, belong, and take pride in their STEM pursuits. 

We celebrate this milestone, thanking the Campos Foundation for their generous support and the visionary leadership of Dr. Adair in propelling us toward a brighter future in STEM education. 

Dr. Mindy Adair’s dedication to mathematics education spans over three decades, culminating in her current roles as Director of Mathematics and Technology Integration Specialist at Denver Academy. Her profound impact on students and colleagues alike, showcased through presentations at various conferences, reflects her commitment to fostering mathematical literacy and empowering students to believe in their mathematical abilities. 

Campos Foundation-Funded SmartLab at Denver Academy

See the STEM lab experience through the eyes of a young student with dyslexia and ADHD.

Noel Johnson


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