Texas Lone Star STEM

Getting Started in the Lone Star STEM Programming

Between 2017 and 2027, STEM jobs in Texas are expected to increase by 20%, with careers in computing, engineering, and advanced manufacturing leading the way (Emsi, 2017). However, only about 26% of Texans were awarded certificates and degrees in STEM fields (US Department of Education). Additionally, according to the U.S. Department of Education, while the number of males in Texas earning computing degrees and certificates has almost doubled, the rate of females earning the same qualifications has remained relatively stagnant, thus widening the gender gap for this field. There has also been little movement in the percentage of underrepresented minorities in Texas earning engineering degrees and certificates.

In order to meet the current and growing statewide demand for STEM knowledge and skills, as well as address widening gaps in equity and access to STEM education, the TEA is partnering with Jobs for the Future (JFF) and the University of Texas Center for STEM Education (UTCSE) to use a United States Department of Education Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE) Education Innovation and Research (EIR) grant.

This grant supports the development and/or expansion of College and Career Readiness School Models (CCRSMs) that focus on developing or expanding STEM pathways in computer science or cybersecurity. In addition to the creation or expansion of a computer science and cybersecurity pathway, the grant may also support the expansion of an existing engineering pathway.

Students STEM research

 

Timeline for the Lone Star STEM Grant:

Lone Star STEM Academies are committing to launch or expand a CCRSM with a STEM pathway in computer science, cybersecurity, and/or engineering. The TEA will have two cohorts that will pilot the STEM Framework and methodology the TEA is developing.

Cohort 1 Planning Year 19-20, Implementation 20-21, Continuation 21-22
Cohort 2 Planning Year 20-21, Implementation 21-22, Continuation 22-23

*Cohort 2 applications will be available in the spring. Notification will go out through TAA and STEM newsletter.

 

STEM Education Tools being Piloted in the Lone Star STEM Grant

The Texas Education Agency has developed tools to assist districts in developing a local STEM program that is aligned to the high-quality indicators identified by the state. The STEM tools are designed to help a district identify areas of need, identify the STEM model that best aligns with programming, help develop the structure and program design, and how to sustain programming long term.

Tool 1: STEM Model Identification Guide

Purpose of the tool: The High-Quality STEM Model Identification Guide is one of the four tools designed to help leadership plan their STEM program with the indicators of a high-quality. The High-Quality STEM Model Identification Guide will assist districts in identifying the STEM model that best aligns with their current STEM programming and to set goals toward their targeted STEM model of implementation. After completing the rubric, districts will complete the scorecard and identify their strengths in STEM and opportunities for growth. This tool can be used to gather baseline data for a campus, and the districts can use this tool yearly to reevaluate their progress toward their targeted model.

Tool 2: STEM Program Planning Guide

Purpose of the tool: The Pre-K-20 STEM Education Program Planning Guide is one of the three tools designed to help schools plan their STEM program with the indicators of a high-quality STEM program. The planning document will help leadership break down each indicator, by providing guiding questions to help facilitate discussions with the district/campus design team and assists with setting goals for the program. The planning document should be filled out by a district/campus leadership team including your STEM stakeholders. The Program Planning Guide can be used to develop a new program or growing an existing program.

Tool 3: Sustainability Tool

Purpose of the tool: The ability to sustain a program over time is an important aspect of STEM Education development and implementation. It is important to have structures in place at the beginning of an initiative to ensure that the initiative can be sustained after the initial implementation or as keystone people transition in and out of the organization. Therefore, this template provides a framework of structural components needed for program sustainability. The STEM Sustainability Tool can assist a school and/or district in identifying appropriate sustainability component assets and/or needs.