A new STEM Teacher Academy at Southern Methodist University will equip Dallas ISD teachers with learning tools to better engage middle school students in science and technology.
The $4 million STEM Teacher Academy project at SMU’s Simmons School of Education and Human Development will be funded by a $1.7 million donation from the Texas Instruments Foundation, a $1.54 million SMU in-kind contribution, about $654,000 in contributions from DISD, and additional donor funds.
“It’s going to take a collaborative effort to meet our critical need for scientists, mathematicians, and technology experts,” SMU President R. Gerald Turner said in the release. “Texas Instruments, the Dallas Independent School District, and SMU are combining strengths to ensure that Dallas middle schoolers choose to continue studying these important subjects through high school and beyond.”
As early as Summer 2017, DISD teachers will learn the STEM engagement strategies through a three-week academy. The academy will also offer support for teachers during the school year and a week-long training for DISD administrators each summer.
“At the end of the day, it’s about the students having access to better jobs and a better quality of life.”
In four years, SMU plans to have 74 percent of Dallas ISD middle school science teachers trained in the STEM teaching practices.
“It’s our hope that the training will help make the teachers even more effective,” said Andy Smith, executive director of the TI Foundation in a release. “It’s important to give teachers the tools and training they need to make science exciting and engaging for students and prepare them for success in high school and beyond. At the end of the day, it’s about the students having access to better jobs and a better quality of life.”
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