Awesome Extra-Curriculars

Hawk Automation: AcademyACL Robotics

AcademyACL Robotics has grown from a small group of Upper Division students to a robust team of over 30 dedicated young engineers working to compete against middle and high schools statewide through BEST Robotics, VEX Robotics, and VEX Aerial Drones. Our Robotics team earns awards each season for skills including marketing, sportsmanship, and robot design.

2022 marked our 11th year of Robotics. In the B.E.S.T. (Boosting Engineering, Science, Technology) Robotics competition, the team faced a huge set of challenges, marking a competitive 30th year for BEST Robotics leagues. They received positive feedback in many areas and while they did not make it to the regional competition, our very young team grew from roughly 20-40 members in 2022-23. In our second year of competing the VEX VRC robotic competition, on behalf of District 11, the team won the Skills Challenge and was invited to a Signature Event at the Broadmoor. There, the team earned a place at the state VEX VRC competition in Denver, where they made it to the Semifinals, competing with teams from across the country. The team has been invited to compete in the VEX aerial drone competition in 2023-24 and now boasts about 30 members, including several returning high-schoolers who are dedicated mentors.

Through our robotics program, we provide a wide variety of leadership opportunities, which has led to formal identification of giftedness in leadership for some of our students.  

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Competition Season

Robotics planning begins in July, with students working on site to learn to use tools they'll need, plan marketing strategies and website design, and develop prototypes of their robots until the season kicks off and the task is assigned.

The season itself begins in August, with competitions locally and in the Denver area throughout the school year.

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Robotics Opportunities

AcademyACL Robotics involves more than being able to build a robot. Students work collaboratively through the entire engineering design process to develop drawings, create and refine working prototypes, learning to code and drive the robot to complete its assigned task, and communicate with others about the process and market Hawk Automation

GeekThink Films

It began with a question, "Can we make a movie to demonstrate our learning?" AcademyACL is the only middle school film program in the nation because our students asked "What if?"

GeekThink Films produces a short film each school year. These films are a testament to the exceptional abilities, emotional intelligence, and creativity of our gifted learners. Through storytelling and cinematography, our students bring their unique perspectives to life on the big screen. All of our films are planned, written by, filmed, edited, and produced by the students themselves with the support of community members with connections to theater and acting, filmmaking, screenwriting, and musical score experience.

Our student-made films have explored topics such as how children and adults experience giftedness, the impacts of poverty and homelessness on children, time travel, bullying, and they've created documentary-style films exploring the impact of the COVID pandemic on our community. In 2023, GeekThink Films expanded their work to marketing and have created commercials to highlight the AcademyACL program.

The opportunities for creativity and leadership are endless through our GeekThink Films. We look forward to bringing you this year's film in May of this year.

AcademyACL Hawks Sports

AcademyACL offers girls' and boys' basketball, girls' volleyball, Landsharks cross country, and a variety of skills camps throughout the school year as we grow our athletic program.

With our $10.4 million dollar renovation came a full-sized regulation gym which has allowed us to host home games and compete against other middle schools within Colorado Springs District 11. Our coaching staff is talented, dedicated, and supportive of the goals of all of our student athletes.

We are proud of our fledgling athletic program and the hard work that our teams have done to grow their skills and demonstrate wonderful sportsmanship and growth mindset.

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Game Days & Practices

Games for all middle school sports typically begin at 4:45 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with practices on non-game days. Please see our Events to learn about our next game and come to cheer us on!

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Skills Camps

AcademyACL offers skills camps in basketball and volleyball as after school club events in the off-season and as summer enrichment during the summer, just after the end of school. We encourage our players to get involved with local high school camps as well, to grow their skills and learn from more experienced students.

AcademyACL Theater

We are proud of our young thespians and stage crew. Our Theater program has produced shows ranging from Shakespeare to Sherlock Holmes to performances by local playwrights. All AcademyACL students have the opportunity to participate in theater through our Encore classes, but also through after school enrichment opportunities. Even our staff has participated in a mystery theater production, leading participants through a fairy-tale based mystery experience!

Providing access to theater and all the various roles within it, our students gain skills in collaboration, public speaking, long-term and short-term planning, artistry, and many find that theater is where they are the most at home. For some, their experience in our Theater program has been a springboard to formal identification of giftedness in performing arts.

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Student Testimonial

"I'm identified gifted in math, reading, and writing. I work above grade level in all of those areas. But theater is what I live for. It's where my heart is. To be seen, truly seen, for my abilities in performing arts through formal identification makes a world of difference."
~AcademyACL Student - Talent Identification Pikes Peak

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Get Involved

We welcome members of the community investing in our theater program through the donation of time to help with set building, music, costuming, and backstage support.

Theatre Performances

From Shakespeare to Fairy Tales, AcademyACL integrates the the arts, culture, music, and improv into our performances. AcademyACL hosts after school theatre productions as well as their everyday Encore classes. Students of all ages learn how to work within an ensemble, the importance of both those performing and those behind the scenes, and that a performance is just as much for those involves as it is for the audience.

Explore Our Summer Programs

AcademyACL students are offered a wide range of summer extracurricular activities and resources each summer. From sports and arts to academic enrichment programs, we offer something for every interest and passion.