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Students

Explore your career path

Contribute

While you give back to your community through project work and collaboration with local business, you’ll gain valuable real-world experiences and professional skills. With every business partner you work with, you’re adding value back into their business.

Innovate

APEX Provides a unique opportunity for young entrepreneurs to flourish. You’ll have the resources and network necessary to develop an idea into a product. The APEX experience is valuable for someone with entrepreneurial aspirations.

Connect

Building a professional network creates a strong platform for your career. APEX provides an early opportunity to grow your connections with business leaders and creates a support network for future growth and idea cultivation.

Explore

Technical skills are a core asset of the APEX program. Your networking and passion should also be met with an equal amount of technical skills. APEX provides access to industry-leading equipment and our instructors are eager to share their expertise with you.

Grow

APEX is designed around one core idea: growth. This is the most important part of the experience. By the end of your APEX semester, our goal is for you to have grown both professionally and technically. Through relationships with businesses, coworkers and clients, you will have plenty of opportunities to grow.

Economic Sectors

Industries that are kickstarting our lifelong passion
  • Bioscience & Value Added Agriculture

    Students will focus on projects that explore global food systems, animal agriculture and veterinary science.

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  • Business, Technology & Communication

    Students will be immersed in professional environments where technology is utilized to design products and solve business problems.

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  • Engineering

    Students will begin to explore the vast array of careers available in the field of engineering while developing the professional and technical skills.

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  • Financial & Insurance

    Students will begin their journey in becoming members of the financial and insurance services community.

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  • Human Services

    Students with a passion for health, wellness and education will experience an innovative approach the human services industry.

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Zach Wonderlich

What Class is Like

Don't expect to find textbooks, chalkboards or boring lectures in an APEX classroom. APEX draws on the expertise of business partners to bring real-world experience to high schoolers. Whether you are “sure” of your career or not, APEX is an experience that allows students to explore their passions.

Student Videos Section
Get a 60-second overview of one of our economic sectors Watch Now
Student Videos Section
Get a 60-second overview of one of our economic sectors Watch Now
Student Videos Section
Get a 60-second overview of one of our economic sectors Watch Now
Student Videos Section
Get a 60-second overview of one of our economic sectors Watch Now
Student Videos Section
Get a 60-second overview of one of our economic sectors Watch Now

APEX Spotlight

Rgoerend

Mr. Goerend

Business, Technology & Communication Instructor

I believe in putting my students in situations that require them to step up and trusting them to do it. The APEX program prepares students for the world they live in now and the one they will shape as they leave high school.

tyler Wright headshot

Mr. Wright

Engineering Instructor

Outside of teaching, I have worked in two different engineering design departments- at Viking Pump as a drafter and at John Deere as a design engineering assistant. In my first year of APEX, I look forward to gaining more insight into the industries of energy, automation, robotics, and manufacturing.

JCooper

Mr. Cooper

Engineering Instructor

My passion is training our APEX Associates on how to become better young professionals in whatever career they choose, and connect them with meaningful projects that will allow them to explore possible lifelong careers.

Andy briggs headshot

Mr. Briggs

Human Services Instructor

My interest and master thesis focused on exercise enjoyment as it relates to continued exercise participation. I spent 10 years as an 8th and 9th grade physical education teacher at Prairieview School in Waukee. I am thrilled to collaborate with APEX students and to help them realize their passion for careers in this field.

HShowalter

Dr. Holly Showalter

Human Services Instructor

I attribute my success in this industry by having 21st century skills, including: complex communication, critical thinking, flexibility, creativity, and collaboration. I taught AP Chemistry and Chemistry I at the High School for 3 years, then transitioned to APEX. I wanted to be an inspiration for students who want to go into a scientific field.

JHunt

Jesse Hunt

Financial & Insurance Instructor

My goal is to inspire teams of aspiring professionals to explore careers in finance, banking, insurance, and investments. The opportunities are exploding in these industries, especially in the Des Moines area! The need for innovation and entrepreneurial thinking is also vital to growth in these sectors. I believe APEX should be part of each student's education because it addresses so many of the gaps between traditional education and the business world.

Cindysnell

Cindy Snell

BioScience & Added Value Agriculture Instructor

My focus is giving students opportunities to grow by authentic hands on projects and connecting with professionals in the field. Recognition & awards include: World Food Prize Meritorious Service Award; Toyota International Teacher Award; Fulbright Teacher Award (traveled to Japan); and DMPS-Kofu Teacher Exchange Teacher.

SPalmer

Scott Palmer

Business, Technology & Communications Instructor

This is my second year being an APEX instructor and I love that this gives me a chance to set up students for their futures. Job shadows, potential internships, real-world projects, are all amazing ways to set yourself apart from your peers. My job is to help you find your passion, and then explore how that can turn into a potential career. I was a math teacher for 9 years before this in various parts of Iowa as well as in Greece.

A day in the life...

Ashish Jha

Economic Sector: Engineering
Partner Business: Accumold

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Cameron Carroll

Economic Sector: Engineering
Partner Business: Shive-Hattery

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Tucker von Harz

Economic Sector: Engineering
Partner Business: Shive-Hattery

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Take a look at
an APEX semester

APEX classes are anything but ordinary. Students gain valuable real-world experiences while giving back to their community through project work and collaboration with local businesses.

Join us in a walkthrough of a typical semester Apex Semester
Waukee High School offers two programs focused on providing students with real world experiences: Waukee Aspiring Professional Experience (APEX) and School-to-Work.

Waukee APEX+

Waukee APEX provides juniors and seniors the opportunity to explore professions of interest through a problem-based, inquiry learning method. Local and global business partners participate with highly skilled instructors to provide authentic exposure and skill development in 21st-century professions.

Waukee School-to-Work+

School-to-Work allows seniors to explore potential careers within a specific area inside and outside the Waukee APEX economic sectors through internships.

Is School-to-Work Right for Me?

Both Programs

Both programs offered at Waukee High School provide experiences in authentic work settings and allow students to earn college credit and/or certifications while earning high school credit.

I'm ready to participate in Waukee APEX

Enrolling in APEX is easy! There is no application or acceptance process for the program. Juniors and seniors all you have to do is add an APEX course to your registration form during SPA conferences. If you have more questions, contact us and we will assist you.

In the meantime, Check out our FAQ