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The Red Rocks Institute for STEM Education (RISE) promotes STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education that enhances innovation, sustainability and equity. RISE accomplishes this by creating innovative learning environments that engage hands-on learning, education for local and global challenges, and a diverse student population.

RISE offers:

  • Design-oriented and project-based STEM education to address campus or community sustainability challenges. Through Introduction to Design and Engineering Applications (IDEA), students explore design, engineering and sustainability by responding to a design challenge that results in conceptual design, prototype, and/or physical structure for a real world client. By working on interdisciplinary teams, students practice professional skills in collaboration and project management.
  • Mentoring support to students in their R&D work. Mentors represent a wide margin of expertise and include faculty, professionals, entrepreneurs, and leaders in the community. Mentoring provides students with role models and access to up-to-date information on what’s happening in their chosen field.
  • A collaboration platform for student innovators across middle and high school, community college and research universities to share stories, knowledge, skills and experiences.
  • And, a showcase of some of the most successful projects that demonstrate how creativity and an inter-disciplinary approach can encourage entrepreneurial responses to local challenges.

Spring 2014 Events

STEM Student Leaders
During spring 2014 five STEM students will work with RISE to address How to improve the learning experience in STEM education at RRCC? STEM Student Leaders will pilot activities to enhance STEM experience through tutoring, mentoring, career connections, transfer advising, and other initiatives.

Spring 2014 Student leaders: Julie Bourgeois, Tim Egnoski, Stephen Ball, Blake Levein, Matt Atherton

STEM Faculty Workshop Committee
During spring 2014 faculty members from Engineering Graphics Technology, Computer Information Systems, Science and Math will work with RISE to develop a workshop for STEM faculty at RRCC on STEM goal setting and identifying projects and funding needs to realize STEM vision. The workshop committee is supported through the Community First Foundation/Leach Family Donor Advised fund.

STEM faculty workshop committee: Delia Ochoa, Julie Schneider, Paige Cudworth, Brandon English

STEM Faculty Workshop – May 2, 2014
15 STEM faculty at RRCC will participate in workshop to address broad goals for STEM education, identify opportunities and barriers and develop recommendations and action plan for improving STEM at RRCC. Support will be provided to participants through the Community First Foundation/Leach Family Donor Advised fund.

STEM for Social Change Series
RISE will host a series of career presentations that create awareness about how STEM is connected to address global and local challenges. Invited speakers and other events will address emerging careers in sustainability, humanitarian engineering, and community development.

Juan Lucena, Director of Humanitarian Engineering, Colorado School of Mines; Erich Harris, Director of Sustainability, City of Lakewood; others TBD

Innovation in STEM education
RISE will continue to incubate project-based learning and real world experiences through Introduction to Design and Engineering Applications. RISE is exploring options for transferability to Colorado School of Mines, and other transfer pathways.  The Xcel Foundation supports the IDEA program 2013-2014.

Engineers for a Sustainable World – Community Project and Partnerships
RISE will support the Engineering Club’s membership to Engineers for a Sustainable World ( by developing a project in partnership with a community organization to understand, through practice, how engineers contribute to sustainability by making smarter decisions so our society can have healthy ecosystems, improved quality of life, and vibrant economies.

For more information about RISE and events,
please contact Director Liz Cox, or 303-914-6230.