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Bubba Brown, The Park Record

Charlie Matthews looked around the gymnasium, where dozens of science fair projects were lined up in rows, and smiled.

Matthews is the Park City School District's STEM coordinator, overseeing efforts to ensure students are well-versed in science, technology, engineering and math concepts and prepared for 21st century jobs once they graduate. For him, the district's annual science fair is an opportunity to see firsthand the progress the district is making, and he said he was impressed with what students had come up with during this year's event, held last Friday.

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Bubba Brown, The Park Record

Park City High School students Natalie Haerter, Ishan Chho and Cole Stanton heard from many naysayers.

The students had been tasked with designing a mobile STEM classroom out of a bus for their semester-long project in the PCCAPS (Park City Center for Advanced Professional Studies) program. The goal was to create a model the STEM Action Center — a Utah organization dedicated to teaching students science, technology, engineering and math — could build and take to schools throughout Utah.

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Bubba Brown, The Park Record

Each year, when fall fades into winter and the weather turns cold, dozens of phone calls from teachers and counselors seeking help to clothe students who don't have coats, warm pants or snow boots flow in from elementary schools to the Park City Education Foundation.

This winter, the stream of calls turned into a flood.

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Bubba Brown, The Park Record

In the first quarter of the school year, Treasure Mountain Junior High School saw a 4-percent reduction in Ds and Fs compared to the first quarter of 2015.

The school didn't do it by changing what students are learning in the classroom. And this year's crop of students isn't 4-percent smarter than last year's eighth- and ninth-graders. So what's changed?

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Bubba Brown, The Park Record

Each year, the Park City Education Foundation doles out $55,000 in teacher grants, money that goes directly into classrooms to fund unique and innovative projects the school district can’t squeeze into its budget.

This year, however, the PCEF was the beneficiary of a $20,000 gift from an anonymous donor, allowing the foundation to hand out more teacher grants than usual. The impact, said Sara Hutchinson, PCEF program manager, will be felt in classrooms throughout the district, where dozens of teachers vie for grants each year.

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Bubba Brown, The Park Record

When Abi Kretschmar was a freshman, she was one of only a handful of students on the Park City High School debate team.

Three years later, those times are now a distant memory. Kretschmar, a senior, has watched as the team has grown steadily in participation — there are now more than 70 members — and in success. And this year, the students say, is shaping up to be their best yet.

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