The Mindset Your Child Needs to Succeed Inside and Outside of the Classroom

Plus One Other Trick to Build the Environment to Promote that Mindset

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By understanding growth mindset and using micro-affirmations to combat stereotype threat, parents can help their children preform their best inside and outside of the classroom.

Keystone Science School hosts Girls in STEM programs as a way to combat one form of stereotype threat. Developing a growth mindset is a practice that needs to be repeated often including in the classroom, through programs like the ones hosted at KSS, but especially at home.

What is “Growth Mindset”?

Growth mindset is the understanding that abilities and intelligence can be developed. That is the definition used by Dr. Carol Dweck who coined the term after studying students’ attitudes toward failure.

170728jk campus 051People who demonstrate a growth mindset see that effort is the path to mastery. Therefore, they are more likely to embrace challenges. More importantly, when children with a growth mindset encounter the inevitable hardship or failure they persist and see the experience as a learning opportunity and space for growth

Growth mindset is not just a nice idea. Researchers have found that 7th graders who were taught that intelligence is malleable and affected by effort, showed a clear increase in their math grades.

Unfortunately, too many people operate with a fixed mindset, but research shows that mindsets can be changed.

To see if you have a Growth or Fixed Mindset you can take the quiz here.

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To truly sleep under the Stars, Go to Dinosaur National Monument

Keystone Science School will be taking a group of 12-14 year-olds to Dinosaur National Monument for a week-long camp. They will be hiking and whitewater rafting during the day and learning about astronomy at night. For more details see the link at the bottom of this post.

Colorado has adventures around every corner. Plus, we’re driving distance to all sorts of additional places to explore, camp, and experience the joy of being outdoors. However, if spending the night under a starry sky is your goal, you need to go to Dinosaur National Monument.


Off the beaten path, Dinosaur National Monument is on the border of Colorado and Utah. Its gorgeous canyons are carved through the sandstone by the Green and Yampa Rivers.  The Unita Mountains force the rivers into tight channels that create rapids enjoyed by rafters and kayakers. The powerful current of the river reveals the evidence of the Mesozoic Era creatures that earned the park its name.

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Since this gem of the Park Service remains under the radar, it doesn’t receive the crowds of some of the nearby National Parks. While there are hiking trails, the smaller crowds allow for off-trail travel in most of the monument. This backcountry access allows for the opportunity to “get into the heart of the wilderness” that John Muir pursued.

Besides the wonderful reasons we’ve already discussed, the reason to go to Dinosaur National Monument is to take in the night sky. The remote location makes it one of the darkest places in the United States. With limited light pollution, the night sky appears in colorful, vivid detail that is no longer visible in most of the places we live.

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Technology, SketchUp, Build-A-Thon, & Training Teachers

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Keystone Science School will be hosting a teacher training on Friday, March 16th on the utilization of SketchUp a 3D modeling software. Click on the link to learn more.

Technology, SketchUp, Build-A-Thon, & Training Teachers

Keystone Science School teaches a wide variety of programs and many of them are focused on getting our students outside and engaged with the outdoors. It’s our mission to inspire curiosity and critical thinking through the lens of science. Given our background within outdoor and environmental education we often have a great deal of conversation about technology. With our society being more connected to technology we often strive to detach students. While this is one school of thought, we also understand that technology can be an amazing tool allowing for people to communicate, design, and make our world a better place.

At Keystone Science School we strive to use technology as a tool and a supplement to our programming. One of our newly adopted tools is a 3D modeling software designed by SketchUp. The technology allows students to create 3D models of almost anything they want. They can see all aspects of an object and change the colors, texture, and materials used to create the object. The software even allows a student to share their ideas within a virtual reality platform.

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Girls in STEM Build-A-Thon 2018

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Keystone Science School is hosting our Girls in STEM: Build-A-Thon for any female student grades 3-9th grade, on Saturday, March 17th. The program is grant funded through several generous donations. You can find more information and register at the following link.

Virtual Reality Birdhouses: Girls in STEM: Build-A-Thon

Keystone Science School (KSS) has a long-standing Girls in STEM program focused on eliminating the gender gap within STEM careers. Architecture and design is just one of the many sectors dominated by men. With this goal in mind KSS is excited for a new partnership with SketchUp and Colorado Parks and Wildlife for our 2018 Girls in STEM: Build-A-Thon, on

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Meeting a Tree

SMS Natural Resources Day

Over the course of three days this fall, 280 sixth graders from Summit Middle School ventured beyond the walls of their downtown Frisco facility to Keystone Science School’s small woodsy campus across the reservoir.The early October mornings were crisp but quite sunny, and everyone enjoyed striking views of Buffalo Mountain and the rest of the Gore Range. Over the course of each day, the various field groups tackled questions like “how do changes in environmental conditions affect what lives in an area?” and “What makes an ecosystem healthy?” while exploring the woods that they call home.

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