Science & Math
Charter STEM Schools Growing in Nevada
- By Dian Schaffhauser
A Nevada STEM school system has just expanded by opening additional locations in the Las Vegas area. Coral Academy of Science Las Vegas (CASLV) is a free public charter school that emphasizes science, technology and math. Coral Academy's students take college-prep courses with an emphasis on advanced placement classes and compete in numerous engineering and science fairs, robotics tournaments and math and science contests, regionally and nationally.
The initial Las Vegas site, opened in 2007–2008, replicated the original school, which began in 2000 with 67 students in a Reno location and eventually grew to 1,200 students at three schools. The Las Vegas school grew to three campuses and now has been expanded with the addition of two new facilities.
The new campuses are serving K–5 and can accommodate up to a thousand additional students, bringing Las Vegas enrollment up to about 2,700 students. Clark County School District, which serves Southern Nevada, is one of the largest districts in the country with 320,000 students at 357 schools. The Coral Academy schools aren't included in that count.
In 2010 President Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology recommended that the federal government promote the development of 1,000 new STEM-focused schools over the next decade, especially in areas that could serve high-poverty neighborhoods. At that time, a council report noted, the country had about 100 such schools. As of last year a study by the National Consortium of Secondary STEM Schools had identified 949 STEM-focused high schools alone.
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.