The Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (T-STEM) Initiative offers a fundamental approach to empower teachers, inspire students, and advance the studies in these four fields. The public-private initiative of academies, professional development centers and networks is designed to improve instruction and academic performance in science and mathematics-related subjects at secondary schools.
In an effort to enhance college readiness and increase the competitiveness of Texas high school graduates in the global economy, the legal basis for T-STEM Academies was established by the Governor’s Executive Order RP53 in 2005. The first T-STEM Academies opened in the 2006-2007 school year and since then, have made great strides in student achievement.
The cornerstone of T-STEM Academy learning is student engagement and exposure to innovation and design in STEM-focused instruction and learning that models real-world contexts. The T-STEM initiative aims to closely align high school curriculum with admission requirements of competitive colleges and the STEM qualifications for 21st century jobs.
In an effort to ensure fidelity to the model, T-STEM Academies use the T-STEM Design Blueprint, Rubric, and Glossary as a guidepost to build and sustain STEM schools that address the seven benchmarks: 1) mission driven leadership; 2) school culture and design; 3) student outreach, recruitment, and retention; 4) teacher selection, development and retention; 5) curriculum, instruction, and assessment; 6) strategic alliances; and 7) academy advancement and sustainability.
We hope you find this interactive T-STEM Academy Design Blueprint useful as a tool to reflect on your Academy’s success or as you plan to embark on initiating the T-STEM Initiative on your campus.