Funding, Grants & Awards

Lancaster ISD Receives 2.2 Million STEM Grant

Educate Texas, a public-private initiative of Communities Foundation of Texas, has received a $2.2 million grant from the Texas Instruments (IT) Foundation to further the development of a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) district in Lancaster Independent School District (LISD).

This is the second grant the TI Foundation has awarded to Educate Texas to develop the "STEM District." Educate Texas received the first grant of $4.8 million in 2012. Since that time, the TI Foundation, Educate Texas and LISD have collaborated to implement the core elements of the initiative. This new grant builds on that work and will include professional development and curriculum changes.

LISD's plan for the development of the STEM District was to implement proven best practices from across the state's STEM network of schools with the goal of improving student achievement and increasing student awareness of STEM college and career pathways. Core elements of the original plan included "a strong STEM foundation of college-ready teaching and learning, strategic partnerships and community outreach and a plan for sustaining this work," according to information from Texas Instruments.

Upcoming developments in LISD's STEM District plans include:

  • Providing targeted professional development for teachers, leaders and counselors;
  • Enhancing college and career readiness initiatives for students;
  • Aligning math curriculum to college and career standards;
  • Developing elementary STEM engineering courses;
  • Aligning dual credit and Advanced Placement (AP) courses to college and career standards;
  • Expanding summer bridge programs; and
  • Engaging more students in STEM extracurricular activities and STEM camps.

Ty G. Jones, president of the LISD school board said he hopes the grant will make the district a leader in "offering students opportunities to engage in STEM activities, being a model for improving student performance, and generating new ideas for student success."

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at jbolkan@gmail.com.

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