Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (T-STEM) Academies are rigorous secondary schools focusing on improving instruction and academic performance in science and mathematics-related subjects and increasing the number of students who study and enter STEM careers. T-STEM Academies are demonstration schools and learning labs that develop innovative methods to improve science and mathematics instructions.
Prior to the 2011-2012 school year, the only path to become a T-STEM Academy was a T-STEM Academy grant through the Texas Education Agency or one of the private partners in the Texas High School Project.
Beginning with the 2011-2012 school year, a second pathway was created. Campuses, using local or other sources of funding, that are implementing the T-STEM Design Blueprint with fidelity may apply to be designated as a T-STEM Academy. T-STEM campuses are designated based on a rigorous designation process. Once a campus is designated, professional development and technical assistance are provided to designated T-STEM academies to serve as demonstration schools and learning labs to showcase innovative instruction methods which integrate technology and engineering into science and mathematics instruction. Designated T-STEM campuses serve students in grades 6-12 or 9-12.
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
School districts or open-enrollment charters may apply for a campus to be awarded T-STEM designation if certain criteria are met. Campuses awarded T-STEM Designation are provided technical assistance and professional development to ensure implementation of the T-STEM Blueprint with fidelity. Sample designation criteria are below:
- Target and enroll students who are at-risk of dropping out of school.
- Be a school of choice with no requirements for enrollment such as test scores, essay questions etc.
- Serve grades 6-12 or grades 9-12 with an active relationship with the feeder middle school(s).
- Implement the T-STEM Blueprint and demonstrate progress on the Blueprint continuum.
Texas is home to 121 state designated T-STEM Academies including 22 newly designated campuses for the 2016-2017 school year.
2016-2017 T-STEM Designated Campuses
Texas Education Code, §39.235; Texas Administrative Code §102.1093
General Appropriations Act (GAA), Article III, Rider 51, 84th Texas Legislature, 2015
GAA, Article III, Rider 57, 83rd Texas Legislature, 2013
GAA, Article III, Rider 64, 82nd Texas Legislature, 2011
GAA, Article III, Rider 51, 81st Texas Legislature, 2009