Soccer Meets STEAM: How FC Dallas is Using Sports to Educate Frisco Students

Frisco ISD and Dallas FC will be working together to make STEAM more accessible for North Texas students.

The San Francisco 49ers education consulting academy (EDU) has paired with the National Soccer Hall of Fame (NSHOF) to bring a new STEAM program to Texas. 

The program will connect science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) to the world of soccer and the operations behind professional sports venues. STEAM FC will align itself with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards in all aspects of their programs.

The program is pairing up with the Frisco ISD, aiming to open its doors to all 5,000 of their enrolled 6th graders during the upcoming school year. 

“It’s truly a unique marriage of history and high tech.”
Djorn Buchholz

Here’s how it works: groups of 100 students or less will visit Toyota Stadium around 50 times per year, with each session lasting around five hours. During each session, students will rotate through tours of the NSHOF and the stadium, lessons in academic subjects that align with TEKS, and a clinic that combines soccer skills with and a practical STEAM education lesson. 

“We are eager to bring unique STEAM education programming to Texas youth with the help of EDU Academy,” Djorn Buchholz, executive director of NSHOF, said in a statement. “EDU Academy’s proven platform will complement our upcoming efforts that will ultimately yield countless conversations with students around the synergies of soccer and STEAM.”

STEAM FC is modeled after a similar program put into place by the San Francisco 49ers for students in the California bay-area, and helped engage over 210,000 K-8th grade bay area participants.

FC Dallas’s Toyota Stadium is an incredibly innovative sports arena, and is powered by NEC’s facial recognition technology. The arena, which opened last October, also features a wide variety of exhibits that fans can interact with. 

“Guests who visit the National Soccer Hall of Fame can’t wait to come back. That’s the telltale sign of an overwhelmingly positive response,” Buchholz told Sport Techie. “What’s so special about this space is that it offers something for everyone. It’s truly a unique marriage of history and high tech” 

The STEAM FC program will begin beta testing in May before the official program launch in the fall. The program’s goal is to make STEAM subjects more approachable for students, and to give students a better understanding for these subjects, based in their current interest in the game of soccer. 

“The 49ers and EDU Academy are proud to support the National Soccer Hall of Fame’s commitment to positively impact the lives of educators and children in the Dallas area through the power of sport,” Jesse Lovejoy, director of 49ers EDU and managing partner of EDU Academy, said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to call them a partner and look forward to working together to get kids excited about STEAM education concepts through the lens of soccer.” 

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