The UTPB STEM Academy will be dedicated to implementing the newest and most promising practices in education with an emphasis in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The foundational belief is that learning should be both engaging and social. Students will work collaboratively on challenging curriculum, which in turn, enables them to experience engaging learning opportunities in order to develop conceptual knowledge and depth through project based learning (PBL). Research provides evidence that this type of engaged problems-solving results in a better understanding of concepts and improves cognitive development at all ages. Students should learn 21st century skills like problem solving, communication, research and collaboration which will be deeply embedded into the PBL environment of the UTPB STEM Academy. Teachers will work together to design projects lasting usually 3-4 weeks. The projects will be designed using the state standards, TEKS and CCRS, which will provide students the opportunity to not only learn the information required at each grade level but to also have the opportunity to put the information into action through real-life simulated projects. The projects will often incorporate multiple subjects simultaneously.
Once a project is designed, the teachers will launch the project with the students and present them with an entry document. This document will guide the students on their journey. The students will begin by completing a Know/Need-to-Know process where they identify the critical points of the project and begin designing their own path. Each project culminates with a student created product often including a presentation. Learning should be an ongoing process, and the UTPB STEM Academy will strive to extend the learning beyond the classroom. Students will spend roughly half of the day engaged with teachers and other students with the remainder of the time spent away from school working independently on virtual assignments. The goal of these assignments will be to prepare students for what they will be learning in class the following school day. These assignments will also be adapted to allow students to move at their own pace. Education should be individualized for all students. UTPB STEM Academy will strive to develop projects that allow students to operate at multiple grade levels. Furthermore, UTPB STEM Academy will encourage students to work ahead on their own or address weaknesses that they have identified with the help of their mentor teachers and parents.
Meet the Teacher Night
August 21 from 5:30pm-7pm
- Open – August, 2014.
- Begin with K-6 and Add One Grade Level Each Year
- Open Enrollment on UTPB Campus - 44 Students Per Grade Level
- Project Based Learning with Active Engagement and Learner-Centered
- Half Day Format, Flipped Classes with Opportunities to Learn from UTPB STEM Professors
- Technology Rich Environments - iPads for each Student
- Focus on Hands-On, Discovery/Inquiry-based Learning/Research Skill Building
- Special Education Services and Other Programs as Traditional Schools Offer
- Teachers Must Be Certified and Possess a Master’s Degree or Working on a Master’s
- Virtual Library with More Than 5,000 Choices for Each Student at Each Grade Level
- Virtual Curriculum Lessons, Learning Videos, and Assessment Tools