Silicon STEM Academy - Denver CO
Unleash your inner geek!
Silicon STEM Academy | 4201 E. Yale Avenue - Suite 130, Denver, CO 80222
For more information, CALL 303-800-0011
or register for courses here
For more information, CALL 303-800-0011
or register for courses here

 

What is Silicon STEM Academy?
Silicon STEM Academy is a technology workspace and training center for thinkers, tinkerers and technologists of all ages. We have a singular focus to inspire and equip the next generation of technologists with the skills required to be creative, effective, innovative leaders and problem solvers in the 21st Century.  

What does STEM mean?
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It is a common term used in education to describe the latest effort to increase student exposure to these disciplines, as economists believe that careers in these areas will be in high demand in the near future. According to the 2013-2014 World Economic Forum, the U.S. is 49th in the world in quality of math and science education. Further, the U.S. is 27th in the world among developed nations for students earning an undergraduate degree in science and engineering. The U.S. has some ground to make up, so Silicon STEM is helping to fill the void by delivering a comprehensive STEM-based curriculum for our next generation of innovators.

Where is Silicon STEM located?
Silicon STEM Academy is in southeast Denver. Our address is 4201 E. Yale Ave, Denver, 80222 – conveniently located near the intersection of Colorado Blvd. and Yale Ave., less than a mile from I-25, exit 202. Contact us at 303.800.0011.

What is Silicon?
Silicon is a periodic element (Si) with the atomic number 14. Silicon is the 8th most common element in the universe by mass and the second most abundant element in the Earth’s crust after oxygen. The southern part of the San Francisco Bay area was coined the Silicon Valley after a number of silicon computer chip manufacturers settled in the area. Now, Silicon is a term that has become synonymous with computer innovation. Silicon STEM Academy is, however, a Denver-based company.

What types of courses does Silicon STEM Academy offer?
We offer three primary course categories: 1) Coding, 2) Engineering, and 3) Digital Media. Coding, or Computer Programming, focuses on learning problem-solving skills using various computer programming languages, including: Karel, Java, JavaScript, Python, C++ and more. Coding skills are increasingly becoming fundamental skills for many 21st century careers. Our Engineering curriculum is comprised of Robotics, Mechanics and Electronics, where students learn how things work and how to build things of their own creation. Finally, our Digital Media track shows students how to organize, show and share their ideas through the creative use of social media channels and design applications.

My student has no programming experience. Which coding class should she start with?
For the entry-level programming student, there are two possible tracks to follow. For the younger kiddos (suggested 6-7 grades, but fun for older kids, too), Scratch is a wonderful educational program using drag and drop building blocks that control and animate sprites, allowing them to build games and stories. For the slightly older kiddo and for those who have a serious interest in computer programming, we recommend Intro to Coding with Karel. With Stanford University-based Karel Programming educational language, students learn the fundamentals of syntax, code commenting, function definition, if/else statements and variables. Karel is taught using an online code editor, which enables students to solve a series of problems by using coding skills. It is highly recommended that students take Intro to Coding with Karel before taking our other programming courses, such as Java, JavaScript and other programming languages.

Why should a student learn computer programming?
There are several highly practical reasons for students of all ages to learn computer programming. Practically speaking, Computer Science is, on average, the highest-paid college major upon graduation; and there are expected to be 1 million unfilled jobs in Computer Science in the U.S. by 2020. Besides that, and perhaps even more important, computer programming is a fun and a creative way to learn problem-solving skills, which will serve students in everyday life.

My student has already taken a computer programming class. What class should she take next?
If your student already has a strong understanding of the computer programming basics, then Java, JavaScript, Python or C++ may be the next logical step. Be aware that students who have not taken Intro to Coding with Karel may be asked to demonstrate their proficiency with a short quiz before moving on to other programming languages.

My student has already worked with LEGO robotics in school. Is it worth going forward into either the Arduino or TETRIX robotics classes?
YES. While LEGO MindStorms provides a great introduction to robotics and software operations, Arduino and TETRIX are definitely the next level. If your student enjoys robotics, then more advanced classes will only expand their learning opportunity. Furthermore, some students may opt to augment their love for robotics with a more specific class in computer programming so that they may program their own robots in the future.

What are the instructors’ qualifications?
Silicon STEM Academy instructors are a team of certified teachers as well as professional programmers and technologists. They each possess expertise in specific areas of study and all are selected to aligned with the culture, attitude and teaching approach of Silicon STEM Academy. All instructors and assistants undergo a thorough background check and detailed training process before tackling the responsibilities of managing a class full of students.

What is the average class size?
At Silicon STEM, we’re committed to the student experience and to the learning process. That’s why our classes will have no more than 15 students with 1 instructor AND 1 or more instructional assistant. We believe that this is the most effective way to guarantee results in a fun, interactive environment.

What is Arduino?
Arduino is an open-source electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for anyone making interactive projects and is used in many of our robotics and electronics classes.

If my student doesn’t like the course, can I get a refund?
Unfortunately, we do not offer refunds for a class that a student decides he no longer likes. His enrollment most likely prevented another student from enrolling in that course, and Silicon STEM cannot backfill his seat. The most common reason for a student to lose interest in a class is that he or she is enrolled in a course that is beyond his or her skill level. To prevent this, be sure your student enrolls in the appropriate course for his skill level. Silicon STEM wants to provide the best learning environment for each student and will work with the student to identify a more appropriate future class.

What ages are most appropriate for Silicon STEM classes?
Silicon STEM Academy is available and welcomes students of all ages ranging from 11-100 years! The courses are offered in a variety of days and times to accommodate a mix of student’s schedules and availabilities. Please call 303.800.0011 to talk to a student advisor if you don’t see a time or day that meets your interest.

When do the summer camps begin?
Summer Camps begin the week of June 13th, 2016 and run through the end of July, with our annual Innovation Challenge being held the week of August 1st. Camps will focus on Coding, Engineering and Digital Media and we’ll offer a range of classes to meet every skill level. Check back for details – sign up begins November 1, 2015.

How do I sign up for a class?
Signing up for a class is easy. Go to our website and click on Registration. Your information will be sent to an administrator and you will be contacted for follow up and processing.

How do I sign up for a summer camp?
Go to our website and click on Registration from the menu bar at the top. Fill out the online form and click the box that reads, Please send me summer camp information. An administrator will follow up with details so you can reserve your spot.

Do you offer any discounts?
Yes. We offer a Refer-a-Friend discount. If your child enrolls in a class and refers a friend who also enrolls, Silicon STEM will offer a $100 credit toward your child’s next class. We encourage students to enroll with a friend to make the experience as interactive and fun as possible.

Is there a sibling-discount?
Yes, a $50 Sibling Credit is available to our students when their sibling enrolls at Silicon STEM Academy.

What is the Silicon STEM Academy Internship Program?
After your child (age 16+) has successfully completed 5 courses with Silicon STEM Academy, he or she may be considered for our Internship Program. Silicon STEM Interns will receive training to assist with instruction, learn IT skills and participate in our community outreach efforts. Interns may also be considered for Summer Camp employment.