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Real World Learning: STEAM and CTE in PCSD | 2023/2024

"The ability to connect education and industry through REAL WORLD learning affords our students the opportunity to acquire an employable skill set aligned to their passion while experiencing potential careers firsthand."
-Lyndsay Huntsman, Park City School District’s CTE & PCCAPS Director

From preschool to post-secondary education, Park City School District students have access to an exceptional number of real-world learning opportunities through STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) and CTE (Career and Technical Education) courses. Many of these programs are supported – or completely funded – by PCEF donors

PCEF was launched in 1986, when a PCHS science teacher requested $2,000 in funding to send two students to a Stanford space camp marking the beginning of a commitment to real-world learning experiences that extend beyond the traditional classroom setting. In the nearly 40 years since, PCEF has funded hundreds of STEAM grants – including the groundbreaking elementary coding programs which started in 2015. Educators say working through hands-on STEAM programs – like coding and robotics – are particularly useful to build critical thinking and problem solving skills.

CTE connects the academic, employability and technical skills that prepare students for the challenges of post-secondary education and a competitive workforce. By participating in PCSD’s CTE courses, students experience a more personalized education, learn about multiple pathways to college and/or career while maximizing opportunities for their future. 

How is CTE integrated with STEAM and Real World Learning? CTE increases STEAM accessibility – and makes the content more relevant as students can apply their knowledge to work through hands-on experiences. And, poised to become even more influential for Park City students, the soon-to-be-completed high school expansion will include a new CTE facility offering dynamic work environments, and flexible classroom environments aligned to industry standards.

Click → here to see current PCSD CTE offerings, which include many concurrent enrollment classes (students can receive college credit or industry recognized credentials) at PCHS.

Scroll down to see the numerous STEAM/CTE real-world learning courses PCEF donors support throughout each PCSD school.


Elementary Schools (K-5th):

  • Kindergarten - 5th → Coding Classes (initially funded by PCEF and now supported by a USBE grant)
  • Provide instruction that incorporates elements of computational thinking.
  • Expose students to coding, build confidence, & generate excitement.
  • Foster creativity & collaboration.
  • Elementary SEEd (Utah Science with Engineering Education) Standards 
  • Elementary students have an opportunity to be exposed to certain aspects of CTE through their Friday Enrichment schedule.

Ecker Hill Middle School (6th-7th):

  • 6th → Intro to Creative Coding 
  • 7th → Creative Coding 1 
  • 7th → College and Career Awareness (CCA) 
  • 7th → Exploring Technology

Treasure Mountain Junior High (8th-9th):

  • 8th → Creative Coding 2 
  • 8th → Digital Literacy (not a CTE course, but required for graduation)
  • 8th → Construction Technology
  • 9th → Computer Programming 1 
  • 9th → Exploring Computer Science
  • 9th → Engineering Technology
  • 9th → Web Development 1 

Park City High School (10th – 12th):

  • AP Computer Science Principles
  • AP Computer Science A
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Construction Management 1
  • Web Development 2 (if student enrollment warrants a section)
  • Computer Programming 2 (if student enrollment warrants a section)
  • Engineering Principles 1 (refinement to this course for 24 - 25)
  • Robotics and Automation
  • Woods 1
  • CAD Mechanical Design 1 & 2
  • CAD Architectural Design 1, 2 & 3
  • Graphic Print Design 1 
  • TV Broadcasting 1
  • Video Production 1
  • Unmanned Aerial Systems (Drones)
  • Unmanned Aerial Systems Lab: Design, Build, and Maintain
  • Flight Simulator
  • Private Pilot
  • Internship

CTE PATHWAYS | 6th-12th

Students learn technical skills at PCHS to help prepare for life after high school, either post-secondary or starting a career focusing on a specific pathway for exploration and coursework.

  • Architecture & Construction
    • Architectural Design
    • Construction and Structural Systems
  • Arts, AV Technology & Communications
    • Broadcast & Digital Media
    • Graphic Design & Communication
  • Business, Finance, & Marketing
    • Business Administration
    • Marketing
    • Finance
  • Computer Science & Information Technology
    • Programming & Software Development
    • Web Development
  • Education & Training
    • K-12 Teaching as a Profession 
  • Engineering & Technology
    • Engineering
  • Health Science
    • Health Science
  • Hospitality & Tourism
    • Culinary Arts
    • Hospitality & Tourism
  • Human Services
    • Family and Human Services
    • Personal Care Services
  • Transportation, Distribution, & Logistics 
    • Aviation 
    • Automotive 

PCCAPS | 11th - 12th

Students develop "Success Skills" through working on real-world projects for companies and organizations, and in alignment with their CTE pathway focus  With more than a decade of impact and nearly 1,200 students participating to date, PCCAPS (Park City Center for Advanced Professional Studies) students are better prepared for success when they graduate.

App & Tech Solutions
Students may have an opportunity to develop a game, build websites, manage GIS data and/or develop an app.  Clients have included the University of Utah, Park City Chamber of Commerce, Adelear, and Hallo.

Architecture & Engineering
Students have an opportunity to design solutions using industry standard software, as well as 3D printers, and laser cutters to model, prototype, etc.  Clients have included R. L. Wadsworth Engineering, MHTN Architects, Elliott Workgroup, University of Utah Dermatology, and Hughes Construction

Business Solutions
Thinking about starting your own business? Want to plan and execute the next great marketing campaign? Do you envision becoming a positive business disruptor or change agent? This course gives students the skills to drive ideas toward tangible outcomes.  Clients have included Backcountry, Hearth and Hill, Intermountain Park City Hospital, and U.S. Ski & Snowboard.  In addition, students will earn a Google Digital Garage certification. 

Digital Design
Students take part in commercial design from client research and initial brainstorming ideas, to concept, and final product presentation.  Clients have included Vail, Jeremy Ranch Golf and Country Club, Nuzzles & Co., Breakfast @ Dana's, and People's Health Clinic, 

Health & Medicine
New for the 23 - 24 school year, we shifted our focus to Physical Therapy and students now have an opportunity to participate in clinical rotations.

Teaching as a Profession
The field of education is ever changing and always in high demand.  Students have an opportunity to experience the world of education through a mini-student teaching experience within the Park City School District.

For the 24 - 25 school year, we’re looking to add a strand for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), which will be a capstone experience for those students participating in our aviation pathway.

Whether college-bound, career-bound, or a combination of both, there are incredibly robust real-world learning opportunities throughout the PCSD and supported by PCEF – from Kindergarten through 12th grade, culminating in the PCCAPS program and the PCHS Transition Program for neuro diverse students.

Read one PCCAPS student’s story here.

Real World Learning is one of PCEF’s eight Signature Initiatives supporting its mission to inspire all Park City students to successfully reach their academic and lifelong potential.

Your Impact This Year

  • Students Reached


  • Invested in Our Schools


  • % Parents Giving 2022/23


  • Programs Funded


  • Ascent Fund
    Ascent Fund
  • Beard Charitable Foundation
    Beard Charitable Foundation
  • Byrne Family Foundation Trust
    Byrne Family Foundation Trust
  • Dan & Terese Heintzelman Family Foundation
    Dan & Terese Heintzelman Family Foundation
  • Garen Family Foundation
    Garen Family Foundation
  • Lewis Family Foundation
    Lewis Family Foundation

    Lewis Family Foundation

  • Kelsi and John Mellor
    Kelsi and John Mellor
  • Montage Deer Valley
    Montage Deer Valley
  • Park City Mountain Resort
    Park City Mountain Resort
  • Park City Municipal
    Park City Municipal
  • Parker Family Charitable Fund
    Parker Family Charitable Fund
  • Tatiana and Matthew Prince
    Tatiana and Matthew Prince
  • The Efrusy Family Foundation
    The Efrusy Family Foundation
  • United Way of SLC
    United Way of SLC
  • Zions Bank
    Zions Bank
  • Anonymous
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