The birth of Sandburg Center for the Sciences is rooted in strong community values and support for robust science and math instruction and technology tools for advancing teaching and learning.
In 2003, as a Sandburg 3rd grader, Baxter’s advocacy, and resourcefulness helped to create an after school Science Council for 1st - 5th graders. In 2010, he chose Sandburg Center for the Sciences for his Eagle Scout project, taking on the daunting task of building three large planting tiers to create our Science Garden. In 2014, as an engineering student at the Colorado School of Mines, Baxter served on the Bond Program Site Advisory Team, helping to guide the design and function of this great new space. Sandburg Center for the Sciences honors Baxter Gully for his significant contributions, vision for science education, and thoughtful service to past, current and future Sandburg students.
On September 1, 2005, Sandburg responded to a one million dollar Innovative Program Development Grant offer by Superintendent Stan Scheer with the support of the LPS Board of Education. The grant, the collective work of principal Marj McDonald, teachers and parents, proposed to develop a center-for-learning model that ignites our K - 5 students’ interest in learning through (1) a system of embedded technology across the curriculum, (2) partnerships with area educational institutions, and (3) the reallocation of existing spaces within our building’s footprint. The proposal was rooted in the belief that we needed to begin to prepare our students at the elementary level to lead in the 21st Century and to be equipped with a good grasp of the sciences (cultural and natural) to answer our world’s most persistent problems.
In October, 2005, Sandburg Elementary was awarded $267,482, dispersed over three years to implement the grant with the requirement that the program be sustained on into the future. In the first year, Mr. Steven Newell was hired as Director of Science and Technology; staff laptops, lab document cameras/projectors/printers, scientific technology devices were purchased; and storage units, lab tables/stools, and Lego Mindstorm kits were ordered. In the second year, a program assist was hired and student laptops were purchased. From 2005 - 2012, hands-on, real world learning in science took place in the open kiva spaces without walls or running water, as well as the grounds and nearby pond/trail.
Fall 2012, “Sandburg Center for the Sciences” lettering was added to the front of the building. Then in the summer of 2015, the District Bond Program expanded a classroom into a great space for co-teaching and exploratory learning in science. Sandburg Center for the Sciences is the pride and joy of the Sandburg community of staff, parents, and students.