Polina Saran and Laura Miller

February 22, 2024

Aviation and Aerospace

VIDEO: High schoolers launch to in-demand careers in aerospace and advanced manufacturing

Littleton's EPIC Campus provides training with state-of-the-art technology and University partnerships that ready students for Colorado’s booming workforce.

Polina Saran and Laura Miller

February 22, 2024

Students in Littleton, Arapahoe, Heritage and Options high schools have an opportunity to learn literal rocket science while earning credit toward a college degree.

This is thanks to a new campus, Explorative Pathways for Innovative Careers, or EPIC Campus, that houses state-of-the-art technology and partners with local colleges and universities, including Metropolitan State University of Denver, to give students experience in high-demand industries.

One of seven pathways available to students, the aerospace pathway provides education in subjects such as electronics, rocket launches and advanced manufacturing with 3D printers. Additionally, the curriculum has four courses offered concurrently with MSU Denver, allowing students to earn college credit in high school that can be applied to a future degree in the College of Aerospace, Computing, Engineering and Design.

“There’s a ton of manufacturing and aerospace happening in Colorado,” said Dan Steepleton, aerospace pathway lead at EPIC Campus. “Colorado per capita has the highest number of employed aerospace professionals in the nation.”

RELATED: The initiative that’s helping change the face of aerospace

The hard and soft skills these students learn can be applied to a lot of industries, not just engineering. The manufacturing aspects are suitable for fields such as health care and automotive work, while the problem-solving and critical-thinking skills learned have even broader applications.

But many students are most excited about projects that send materials they build into outer space.

“We’re partnered with NASA to make a part for the International Space Station,” said Sam Anderson, an aerospace pathway student at EPIC Campus. “It’s going to be the coolest (project) once we start doing it.”

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