ACES Ed encompasses the extensive science and environmental learning programs offered by Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, creating a passion for learning and preparing regional students to excel in science at an early age. Since 1975, ACES Ed has partnered with local schools to provide a broad spectrum of science education in the classroom and in the field through hands-on exploration. Regarded as "a science classroom without boundaries," ACES Ed curriculum is highly integrated with that of the schools to provide support for under-funded programs stressed to meet increasing district and state academic standards. ACES Ed fosters generations of ecologically literate citizens, building critical thinking skills, engaging in problem solving and opening doors to a brighter future for students of all ages.
ACES Ed provides nationally acclaimed, full-time, in-school environmental science education at Aspen Elementary School, Basalt Elementary School and Crystal River Elementary School in Carbondale, as well as science programs and field study for 42 regional schools within Pitkin, Garfield and Eagle counties. ACES Ed programs make 62,000 student contacts, teaching over 2,000 in-classroom lessons and providing over 350 field programs each school year to pre-school through high school students.
ACES Ed applies a diverse approach to science education, incorporating earth, physical and life sciences as well as elements of environmental ed, outdoor ed, experiential ed, STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) ed, standards-based ed, placed-based ed and project-based learning. ACES Ed programs also integrate components from ACES' other areas of focus, including sustainable agriculture and forest health curriculum.
ACES Ed programs have received many awards and garnered important recognition:
• North American Association for Environmental Education Award for Most Outstanding Local Environmental Education Organization
• Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education K-12 Education Partnership Award
• Colorado Department of Education recognized ACES' work in Aspen Elementary School as a model program
• Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education Agriculture Award for Rock Bottom Ranch educational program