"We are working with teachers to help them learn about project-based learning, but especially the Texas-STEM initiative and engineering," said Dr. Dean Fontenot of the Texas Tech T-STEM Center. Through professional development trainings, T-STEM helps teachers engage kindergarten through 12th grade students in project-based learning that develops problem solving, critical thinking, teamwork, communication, and other skills needed in the modern workforce.
The Texas Tech T-STEM Center played host to a visit with Joseph Michael Acaba, a NASA astronaut who returned from a long duration appointment on the International Space Station. Mr. Acaba visited the Texas Tech T-STEM Center to learn more about teacher professional development and opportunities available to teachers for both afterschool and in-class programs.
It is exciting to see that engineering has become a recognized discipline in K-12 education. For years, very little was said about engineering in K-12 schools. Engineering was rarely mentioned in the K-12 curriculum until about eight or nine years ago. Yet, as times have changed and the demand for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math curriculum to be integrated into K-12 has become more relevant, the demand for engineering has increased.
Congratulations on another national level award and recognition for the students and staff at New Deal High School. Newsweek included New Deal High School on its 2013 list of the best high schools in the nation. They listed 2000 schools on this list and 165 of them are from Texas. New Deal ranked 1871/2000 in the nation and 149/165 of the Texas schools included on the list.
On April 19, Presidio students attended the Get Excited about Robotics (GEAR) Regional Competition at Texas Tech University. GEAR is a 6-8 week LEGO robotics challenge for elementary and middle school students during which students build and program LEGO robots to perform specific tasks.
Students set up science fair-style tri-fold boards and searched for extension cords, tinkered with Lego robots and plugged in circuit boards, preparing for the New Deal Independent School District's first Engineering Fair. "This is the culmination of everything they've been doing through the year," said teacher Rocky Upchurch of the fair on Thursday, April 11. "They are being judged on presentation and knowledge of their topic."
Dr. A. Dean Fontenot, senior director of the Texas Tech T-STEM Center, has been named a recipient of a Texas Tech Teaching, Learning, and Professional Development Center (TLTC) 2013 Faculty Spotlight Award. The award recognizes faculty members who have been involved with the center and used services, programs, workshops, software and more to creatively enhance their classes. This annual award features faculty members nominated by the TLPDC staff and recognizes individuals for their "above and beyond" efforts to connect with and engage students, and for their service to the TLPDC. Fontenot's award is in recognition of her efforts with the Professional Communications for Engineers course that she teaches.