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Press Release

MSU Denver’s youth STEM initiative culminates in rocket launch July 18

Partnership with Denver Housing Authority and Shades of Blue connects lower-income families with aviation and aerospace experiences

Contact: Tim Carroll, Office 303-556-5136, Cell 303-870-7705

Posted: July 11, 2014

WHAT:  Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Department of Aviation and Aerospace Science is hosting its third-annual Project SOAR program, a collaborative effort with the Denver Housing Authority (DHA) and Shades of Blue that offers young students from the South Lincoln Housing Area exposure to aviation and aerospace educational opportunities and industry careers.

Alongside MSU Denver, Shades of Blue encourages more young people to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers. Approximately a dozen middle school students participating in the five-day Project SOAR program learn about aviation fundamentals and rocket building, while gaining exposure to a university campus including MSU Denver’s aviation and aerospace facilities and its World Indoor Airport.

WHY: STEM-related jobs in Colorado are projected to increase by 28 percent between 2008 and 2018. MSU Denver is dedicated to educating the next generation of Colorado’s advanced-industry workforce, including careers benefiting key economic sectors within the state and beyond.

Additionally, as a partner in the HOPE VI HUD grant, MSU Denver is transforming communities by complementing efforts to revitalize the South Lincoln Housing Area and help break the cycle of poverty by encouraging the pursuit of higher education leading to top-paying careers. A recent study showed that the top 10 highest-paying majors for bachelor’s degree holders were STEM-related. In addition to providing youth STEM pathway education, the grant also provides families exposure to literacy, integrative health and visual art education.



WHERE: Friday, July 18, 2014


Rocket Launch                                                                                  9 - 11 a.m.

East High School (1600 City Park Esplanade, Denver, CO 80206)  

The rocket launch will take place in the parking lot east of Josephine St. and north of 16th Ave.


MSU Denver World Indoor Airport Visit                                       11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

MSU Denver 7th St. Building (1250 7th St., Auraria Campus, Denver, CO 80204)


Awards Presentation                                                                       2:30 - 3 p.m. 

MSU Denver Student Success Building (890 Auraria Parkway, Room 400, Auraria Campus, Denver, CO 80204)


WHO: Captain Willie Daniels—MSU Denver alumnus, president of Shades of Blue and United Airlines captain

            Project SOAR student participants



About Metropolitan State University of Denver

MSU Denver is a leader in educating Coloradans in university programs particularly relevant to the state economy and the demands of today’s employers. With the highest number of ethnically diverse students among the state’s four-year colleges, MSU Denver offers 55 majors plus master’s degrees in accounting, teaching and social work. More than 22,000 students are currently enrolled, and 75 percent of the university’s 77,000 graduates have remained in Colorado as valuable members of the state’s workforce. 

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