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Provo City School District

Canyon Crest Elementary School

Canyon Crest received a STEM Designation last year. 

What work goes into receiving a STEM Designation, and why does this matter to you and your child?

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. A STEM-designated program falls under at least one of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) approved categories. The government recognizes these categories for focusing on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) topics.

STEM designations are indicators for the public, according to the Utah STEM website, and allow families to identify schools with a priority for STEM education.

To receive the designation, schools must hurdle a high bar of STEM-related criteria via a digital portfolio. A school’s portfolio demonstrates superiority in its curriculum, leadership, assessment, professional learning opportunities, pedagogy, engagement & equity practices, community partnerships, facilities, community partnerships, and advancement & sustainability. (You can check out the portfolio rubric they’ve posted on their website.)

To match the level of requirements for a Platinum Designation, which Canyon Crest received, requires teachers, parents, students, admin and district leaders to come together with a set plan of ideas for promoting STEM. This included STEM integrated lesson plans that included computer science and engineering skills. A STEM night hosted with activities and exploratory events in every room (an event which is being repeated this year in March.) Students participated in STEM fair, robotics, Space Lab and have access to a specialty STEM classroom.

It’s an exhaustive process that determines, without a doubt, that a school seriously considers every facet of a student’s learning experience and post-school trajectory.

There are four STEM designation tiers: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Receiving any designation is a challenging and meticulous process worthy of commendation.

Canyon Crest Elementary received a Platinum Designation last year. Canyon Crest is known for excellence in reading and math proficiency and performance, but you might not know that it’s a premiere location for STEM learning. 

Dr. Sean Edwards, the Principal at Canyon Crest, acknowledges the importance of STEM learning. He says, “When students have exposure to STEM education opportunities, they receive hands-on learning with real-world application, which helps them prepare for college, career, and life success by developing 21st-century problem-solving and creative skills. 

“All students can and should access STEM because it opens doors, reveals possibilities, and leads to college and career pathways. At Canyon Crest, our kindergarten through 6th-grade students embrace STEM learning across the curriculum because we know STEM is multidisciplinary. We are grateful to partner with the STEM Action Center for professional development and Provo City School District for resources. Our wonderful teachers are STEM-focused, and we look forward to the many STEM possibilities in the future. We are proud of our Platinum STEM Designation!”

Read Canyon Crest’s statement on the STEM designation and read through their STEM Designation portfolio.

We want to thank all of our staff for working diligently on providing STEM experiences in our school, and we compliment Canyon Crest for their continuous efforts in making Canyon Crest an outstanding STEM school.

(This article was originally posted on the Provo City School District Website at


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