Home / World News / Boulder Valley students build web sites, bikes, futures through Impact on Education courses

Boulder Valley students build web sites, bikes, futures through Impact on Education courses

Classes may be over for the day at Columbine Elementary School in Boulder, but the learning has hardly stopped.

Students are engrossed in eight-week courses held at the school and provided by Impact on Education, a foundation started in 1983 that supports all Boulder Valley public schools. The group emphasizes innovative classes that break down economic and learning barriers, CEO Fran Ryan said.

“We exist for every student and every educator in the Boulder Valley School District,” Ryan said, adding the foundation impacts more than 31,000 local students each year. “We are constantly evolving to meet the needs of our education community.”

The diversity of courses offered by Impact on Education was on full display recently at Columbine.

In one classroom, students were designing their own websites with the help of University Colorado computer science students. In another, students were applying physics concepts to everyday household items.

Outside, a local bicycle shop owner was teaching students how to build a bike from scratch. Using donated parts and tools, students slowly constructed their own bike and then took if for a spin around the school grounds. Afterward, they helped other students finish their own repairs.

The idea is to get every student at Columbine to understand the value of education and self-sufficiency, said Tara Fosburgh, Impact on Education program manager.

“A lot of students here are bilingual and we want to teach them new skills and that everyone has a value to society,” Fosburgh said. “When they see what they can do here, that gives them the confidence to try other things.”

After finishing a course on leadership taught by members of the Latino Chamber of Commerce, one girl announced she wanted to run for president, Fosburgh said.

Another girl, who previously had shown no interest in mechanics, finished the bicycle construction course and said she wanted to open her own bike shop in Boulder.

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