About Keystone Science School
With the outdoors as a backdrop for learning, Keystone Science School inspires curiosity and critical thinking through the lens of science to change lives and strengthen communities.
By 2020, Keystone Science School will reach beyond its 23-acre campus to bring high-quality science and sustainability programming and experiences to diverse communities across the country.
With upgraded energy-efficient facilities for faculty and participants, KSS envisions enhanced program offerings, increased community partnerships, and broader funding opportunities.
KSS’s leadership in the industry will be recognized and our staff sought after to provide guidance in the areas of science and outdoor education, partnership development, and financial sustainability.
We change lives. It’s a lofty claim, but we know that people are impacted through their experiences at Keystone Science School. Our lives have been transformed and we inspire others to reflect, grow and change as well.
We foster open, honest relationships. We care about each other and those we serve and strive to be approachable, friendly and authentic in all interactions. We believe that being mindful leads to higher levels of professionalism and instills trust.
We are different together. We actively create environments that are just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive. We are dedicated to providing outdoor experiences that are culturally relevant to all participants.
We strive for excellence. We maintain high expectations for ourselves and seek challenges for the betterment of those we serve. We embrace an entrepreneurial spirit and incorporate innovative ideas into our programs.
We find joy in teaching and learning. We live our mission and bring fun and laughter to everything we do, every day. We’re academic, but far from boring.
We ask questions and seek solutions. We inspire critical thinking in each other and those with whom we work. We provide the tools to learn how to think, not what to think by presenting topics and issues in an inquiry-minded way.
We are accountable. The numbers are equally as important as the mission. Transparency is critical and we keep a close eye on financial success.
Founded in 1976 by Robert W. Craig, Keystone Science School has taught scientific principles and leadership skills to young people, teachers, and community members through engaging hands-on field experiences. KSS was founded on the belief that leaders should approach decision-making with a healthy respect for scientific inquiry, collaboration, and civic engagement.
The School was founded as part of a larger nonprofit organization, The Keystone Policy Center, to develop critical thinking skills in future generations of leaders using science and the outdoors as a backdrop. In 2013, Keystone Science School became an independent nonprofit organization after the incredible fundraising efforts of the local community and long-time supporters of the School. A task force comprised of many who deeply believe in the School’s mission guided the organization on this journey to independence. Both nonprofit organizations are thriving today keeping Bob Craig’s original goals in mind.
Over the decades KSS has evolved to provide increasingly diverse and accessible programs around leadership development, STEM-based education, health and nutrition, teacher professional development, and experiential learning. Some new initiatives include CATCH Afterschool (started August 2011) and Summer CATCH Camp (starting June 2015) which provide out-of-school physical activity and nutrition education for elementary-aged students in Summit County. These programs operate on a sliding fee scale with the goal of serving as many low- and moderate-income families as possible.
Our Girls in STEM program kicked off in early 2015 giving young women the opportunity to explore the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math through games, experiments, and group activities. Research shows that in mixed gender classrooms girls often let boys take the lead in these subjects. But when given the opportunity to work in a girls-only setting, girls speak up, develop more self-confidence, and are more likely to do well in and pursue further study or a career in these subjects.