The DeSoto ISD STEM STEAM Academy has been designated as one of 16 new TEA Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (T-STEM) Academies for the 2014-2015 school year. T-STEM academies are rigorous secondary schools focusing on improving instruction and academic performance in science and mathematics-related subjects, with a goal of increasing the number of students who study and enter STEM careers such as scientist, medicine, computer programming and engineering.
The DeSoto ISD STEM STEAM Academy includes the collaborative efforts of all three DeSoto ISD middle schools’ iSTEAM3D Magnet Academies combined with the DeSoto High School STEM Endorsement pathways which have concentrations in Engineering and Robotics. In addition, high school students may select the Health Science Pathway under the Public Service Endorsement to pursue medical sciences.
“DeSoto ISD has developed another choice for district students to guide their academic focus,” said Superintendent David Harris. “Along with a Collegiate Magnet Program, Early College High School, AP dual credit, students can focus on science, technology, engineering and math and earn their Distinguished Level of Achievement Diploma from a T-STEM designated academy.”
“DeSoto ISD students are provided almost every opportunity known to advance in their academic interests now beginning in 6th grade,” continued Harris. “Over the next several years, we plan to allow that interest to flourish at an even earlier age as we launch elementary magnet academies starting with fine arts this year.”
DeSoto ISD feels the T-STEM designation will help fulfill the district’s mission in developing every student into a 21st century learning able to compete in a global society.
“We are extremely excited to have this designation which will allow us to increase our STEM activities such as the Solar Car Challenge and Robotics 1st Competitions,” said Dr. JoAnn Green-Rucker, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction.
Campuses awarded T-STEM Designation are provided technical assistance and professional development to ensure implementation of the T-STEM Blueprint with fidelity. DeSoto ISD will receive technical assistance from long time partner UT Dallas, a state STEM Center.
T-STEM Blueprint Benchmarks:
• Mission-driven leadership
• T-STEM Culture
• Student Outreach, Recruitment, and Retention
• Teacher Selection, Development, and Retention
• Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
• Strategic Alliances
• Academy Advancement and Sustainability
“Those working in the fields of science, technology and engineering continue to be among the most sought after and highly paid in today’s job market,” said Commissioner of Education Michael Williams. “Texas STEM academies expose students to these key subject areas and challenges them with rigor and innovative instruction that prepares them for success beyond high school.”
With the addition of these newly designated schools, Texas is now home to 91 T-STEM Academies across the state.