Red Rocks Innovations in STEM Education

The RISE program contributes to an innovative workforce through STEM education that incorporates hands-on real-world problems, teamwork and collaboration, and business, industry and community partners.  RISE supports community college students to become responsible innovators with knowledge, skills and experiences needed to solve real problems that help the world. Community college students, many of whom are low-income and/or first-generation, are often seen as unlikely innovators. Yet they have much to contribute to the nation’s needs for innovative solutions. RISE engages these invisible innovators in real world projects, career-building experiences, and leadership opportunities, creating change-makers who will be creative problem-solvers in transfer programs and ultimately the workforce.

RISE prepares students to become:

Entrepreneurs and Leaders

Bringing innovation into local communities, business and industry

Trainers and

Paying it forward to enable future change-makers

Makers and

Applying hands-on STEM to produce tangible prototypes 

Programs of RISE



The IDEA Lab is a student design and makerspace. Working on real technical projects, students engage local stakeholders, gather information, make ideas tangible and continue to improve them by collaborating with local business, industry and community partners.

The goals of the IDEA Lab are to:

  1. Introduce human-centered design methodology as a form of problem defining and solving
  2. Create platforms for integrated learning, teamwork and collaboration among engineering transfer students
  3. Prototype and evolve tangible solutions with local partners

II.  RISE Change-Makers

RISE Change-Makers are students who become leaders for Responsible Innovation through immersion experiences and community-based learning. RISE change-makers embrace empathy, collaboration, optimism and action.Through off-campus study, internships, research, service, volunteering and more, RISE change-makers create an ecosystem for problem defining and solving for a more equitable and sustainable world.

III. RISE Faculty Fellows Program

RISE Faculty Fellows Program creates a community of practice around teaching and learning for responsible innovation through hands-on STEM, project-based learning, community engagement and real world outcomes.