My Echo Story: Douglas County Education Foundation |

My Echo Story: Douglas County Education Foundation

Jill Alley
Board Member
Technology Club students comprised of seventh-, eighth- and ninth- graders at Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School discover what it’s like to be an engineer thanks to Lego Mindware Robotic Engineering kits, funded by the Douglas County Education Foundation and Vail Resorts Echo.
Submitted to the Tribune |

Extending beyond what is subsidized by the school district, the Douglas County Education Foundation funds grants requested by teachers for the purpose of enrichment in our schools. With the support of Vail Resorts Echo, as well as Heavenly Mountain and Kirkwood Resorts during the last two years, the Education Foundation has been able to pay for wonderful school programs, benefiting local students for years to come. DCEF prides itself in seeking projects that will impact a large number of students for an extended period of time. One project recently sponsored by VR Echo is currently igniting young minds and tapping into their creativity at Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School.

The Technology Club at Pau-Wa-Lu is very grateful to have received a grant for three Lego Mindware Robotic Engineering kits, developed by Carnegie Mellon University. The kits allow students to collaboratively observe, measure and adjust the robots’ programming, like making the wheel’s motors turn in opposite directions for the robot to spin. Sensors allow the robots to also respond to touch, light and sound.

The Lego Mindware kits meet Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) objectives and teach students the value of collaboration, testing in problem solving and a glimpse of what it means to be an engineer. Teachers hope this program can continue with more kids and students in the future.

Corporate sustainability has always been fundamental for Kirkwood and Heavenly Mountain Resorts and their parent company, Vail Resorts. Through Vail Resorts Echo, our sustainability program, we hope to connect our communities to our efforts — from on the ground conservation programs to grants for local schools. Aimed at both protecting the natural resources that surround the resorts and helping build stronger communities where our employees live and work, Vail Resorts Echo encompasses three core efforts: environmental stewardship, charitable giving and community engagement. Want to learn more about VR Echo? Go to

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.