Work-Based Learning at Keystone Science School: Building Skills for the Future Workforce

We create future leaders who can problem solve and work together in an ever-evolving world and workplace environment. -Keystone Science School’s Mission

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While Keystone Science School is best known for inquiry-based learning programs that teach science, outdoor skills, and community building to children, we also develop the next generation of leaders through work-based learning programs for young professionals.

Work-based learning integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with hands-on experience and skill development in a workplace setting. KSS internships, apprenticeships, and seasonal jobs provide an excellent opportunity to explore and prepare for a career in outdoor education, the outdoor industry, teaching, marketing, or non-profit work while developing skills essential for the future workforce.

Critical Skills for the Future Workforce

As automation and global connectivity continue to transform the modern workplace, “uniquely human” skills, such as adaptive thinking and social intelligence, are at a premium. Unfortunately, a 2019 report by the Society for Human Resources Management finds that employers are challenged with recruiting qualified talent. The top 3 missing soft skills are:

  • Problem-solving, critical thinking, innovation and creativity;
  • Ability to deal with complexity and ambiguity;
  • Communication.

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11 Things You’ll Love About Working at KSS

Keystone Science School is currently accepting applications for 2020 seasonal positions. Whether you’re an experienced outdoor educator, or you want to develop your skills in a work-based learning program, we’re searching for candidates eager to combine hands-on science with outdoor adventure to create engaging experiences for our students. For more information, visit or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Keystone Science School is proud to be Summit County’s #1 Best Not-Profit and #2 Best Place to Work! Here are 11 things you’ll love about working KSS:

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¿Por qué necesitamos Chicas en “STEM”?

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Según la Asociación de Educación Nacional, “Las niñas que aprenden en un ambiente exclusivo para mujeres se cree que se sienten más cómodas respondiendo a preguntas y compartiendo sus opiniones en clase, así será más probable que exploren sujetos menos tradicionales como matemáticas, ciencias, y tecnología.”

Nuestro programa consiste en una variedad de sesiones cada año dedicadas a la motivación, reflexión, y acción en los estudios “STEM”. Las chicas serán rodeadas de mujeres profesionales en las áreas de la Ciencia, Tecnología, Ingeniería, y Matemáticas.

Carolyn H. Garfein y Linda D. Hallman de la American Association of University Women escriben: “los estereotipos pueden bajar las aspiraciones de las niñas por las carreras en ciencia e ingeniería a través del tiempo. ...Para diversificar los campos de “STEM” necesitamos mirar bien los estereotipos y sesgos que todavía permanecen en nuestra cultura. Alentando más niñas y mujeres a entrar en estos campos vitales requerirá atención cuidadosa al ambiente dentro del salón de clase, espacios de trabajo y a través de toda nuestra cultura.”

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Keystone Science School has created 'A Place to Inspire'

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Keystone Science School made great strides in 2019 to invest in our future with the completion of our Capital Campaign, A Place to Inspire. Thanks to the incredible support of our partners, donors, and community, a total of 179 gifts raised $3.95M towards the project exceeding our original fundraising goal of $3.9M. We are grateful to be a part of this generous community.

Over the years our campus has changed and improved to help us carry out our mission to inspire curiosity and critical thinking through the lens of science. With the addition of Bighorn and Henry Dorms in the 1980s to our transition to an independent non-profit in 2013, we’ve maintained our focus on what matters most: our students and educators. A Place to Inspire was the fifth capital campaign completed by Keystone Science School (KSS) since 1988. With the intention to continue growing our impact and realize our mission, we have created A Place to Inspire with the addition of Tieken Place, our new administrative and classroom building, and Alpine, our new instructor cabin.

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Girls in STEM Film Festival Mentor Feature: Nancy Degnan

Keystone Science School partners with Breckenridge Film Festival to teach participating girls about how to break into the male-dominated film industry. This program is for any female student grades 3-12th grade. Students can register on the Girls in STEM webpage.

nancy degnanThe mentors of our Girls in STEM events are an integral part of not only the programs they support, but also in encouraging young girls to enter STEM fields and opening their eyes to career paths they may not have considered prior to the program.

One of our STEM: Film Festival Mentors, Nancy Degnan, believes it’s important to have women in the film industry because they bring an equal but different perspective to not only the workplace, but art.

“We [women] see nuances that men often don’t, as men see things that we may not,” Nancy said. “We have a unique sensibility that is integral to society. The film industry creates a space for society to be entertained, to be reflected, seen, expressed. If we don’t have women in this industry, women across the world get left out of the cultural moment and narrative. It’s a necessity to have everyone represented by media for this reason. The only reason films exist is because people need them. People have needed art since the beginning of our existence. It should exclude no one, especially over half the population.”

When Nancy Degnan moved to Los Angeles, she was working three jobs. Until she met Film Producer Julia Eisenman.

“We had coffee and I expressed my passion for filmmaking, acting, and writing, and she hired me on the spot!” Nancy said. “[She] walked me down to the production office for a movie she was working on and introduced me to everyone.” She was hired as an assistant and that was the beginning of her path behind the camera.

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