$460,000 to Help Establish Tech Curriculum Center
State Enlists UT Dallas in Quest for Ways to Improve Teaching STEM Subjects
Jan. 20, 2011
The Texas High School Project and the Texas Education Agency recently announced a $460,000 award for the creation of a Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (T-STEM) Center at the University of Texas at Dallas.
The Center for STEM Education and Research is a partnership with local T-STEM academies and business leaders. Dr. Cynthia Ledbetter, professor of science/mathematics education, was named director, and research assistant Cary Jim was named assistant director.
T-STEM academies are rigorous secondary schools aimed at improving instruction and academic performance in STEM subjects. The goal is increasing the number of Texas students ultimately entering STEM degree programs and careers.
The T-STEM Center is charged with:
- Designing innovative science, engineering and math curricula.
- Delivering professional development to teachers.
- Creating strategic partnerships among business, higher education entities and school districts to support the effective implementation of the T-STEM Initiative.
“We’re excited to be the newest T-STEM center in Texas and have this great opportunity to better serve the teachers and students of the Metroplex,” Ledbetter said.
She added that the funding will also provide advanced professional development online and, to some extent, graduate coursework for teachers and administrators. Further, the undergraduate students in the UTeach Dallas program will be able to work closely with the master teachers at Richardson Schools’ Berkner High School T-STEM Academy to advance their teacher preparation.
STEM education has become more important recently because of the growing number of children choosing science, technology, engineering and mathematics as future careers. The T-STEM Center supports T-STEM academies by providing ongoing, advanced professional development for teachers and administrators; innovative curricular materials in STEM areas, particularly in Project Based Learning (PBL); access to STEM practitioners in business, industry, and informal and higher education; and access for students to relevant educational materials.