Futures Lab inspires Fossil students


Melissa May

Heather Ko, a representative from Futures Lab, discusses potential opportunities for students’ futures.

Melissa May, Arts Writer

Futures Lab is a new Poudre School District program coming to Fossil Ridge High School in upcoming years. Based in Fort Collins, Futures Lab is offering new classes and course options to any students that wish to explore this curriculum. “We are able to bring students from all four of our high schools… to have one campus to take some really unique specialized classes in their schedule,” explained Scott Elias, the director of Futures Lab.

Futures Lab was created in order to offer unique classes to students from Poudre School District who want to delve into a new form of education. Different “pathways” are offered, which tend to be centered around science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Pathways such as coding, design thinking, business and innovation, and networking and cybersecurity are meant to offer students education in the less traditional classes that are not currently offered at Fossil.

The structured pathways are not the only curriculum that Futures Lab offers, though. “We have many pathways that are also very flexible, like our business pathway and our design thinking pathway. So, if you’re a kid who’s got, like, a business idea, and you just want some space to create, that’s our jam,” voiced Elias. For those students who do not specifically aim to follow a rigid course of study, the pathways can be altered and changed to fit their specialized wants and needs from the program.

Despite their STEM-based classes, Futures Lab programs have no prerequisites, and students with any amount of knowledge pertaining to the courses are able to take them. Any student “who has an interest and is willing to put in the work” is able to take classes with Futures Lab and learn about any and all of their passions that are offered.

Melissa May
The Futures Lab presentations took place during the annual curriculum fair, where teachers and club leaders had the opportunity to talk to incoming freshmen.

Obviously, Futures Lab is a relatively new addition to the PSD. The concept itself was inspired simply by classes that high school students in the area want to have access to. Elias elaborated on the origins of Futures Lab: “A lot of times, at a large high school, it’s really tough to offer specialized classes that appeal to a small number of kids. But if you take a small number of kids out of all four high schools, now all of a sudden you’ve got thirty or forty kids, and you have a really good program.”

Futures Lab will be offered to anyone who wishes to enroll in the 2020-2021 school year, and for the years to come. Students will be able to fit this curriculum into their current schedule by spending half of their day at Fossil, or their base high school, and then going to Fort Collins High School to take their Futures Lab courses. For the upcoming years though, a space is being renovated to accommodate the Futures Lab classes and students. There are plans for the program to further develop, and the Futures Lab will continue to broaden its reach and offerings in years to come.