UHV and VISD partner in STEM academics

Together, they aim to expand local opportunities for students

VICTORIA, Texas – UHV and Victoria ISD are working together to strengthen Victoria’s workforce of tomorrow. For the 2020-21 school year, VISD launched two new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) academics. The new STEM academics are focused on preparing students with needed skills to pursue future STEM career pathways. Through Smith STEM Academy and Stroman STEM Academy, VISD students experience STEM content through real-world learning experiences.

Ann Avila, innovation specialist for VISD, releases the following statement:

“Developing community partnerships is key to providing multiple opportunities of exposure, experience and pursuit for all VISD students beginning with STEM,” said Ann Avila, innovation specialist for VISD. “Through our strategic planning we hope to develop lasting connections that will provide student choice and confidence in exploring multiple career-focused pathways.”

To improve this partnership, Smith STEM Academy invited the University of Houston-Victoria college professors to engage with the campus. Professors will host STEM challenges, offer career informational sessions and serve as career mentors on future projects. Educating our youngest students is just the beginning.

UHV and VISD are aiming to facilitate a STEM Bridge Experience for students currently attending Stroman STEM Academy. The opportunity will take place at UHV’s newly built STEM building. UHV professors will also host the experience. Sixth-graders from Stroman STEM Academy will participate in lab stations focused on a variety of STEM-influenced careers.

Dr. Teresa LeSage-Clements, professor of science education, releases the following statement:

“It is terrific to grow our own STEM students in our city with a bridge to the university,” said Dr. Teresa LeSage-Clements, professor of science education. “The UHV faculty visited Smith STEM Academy before Thanksgiving and were impressed by the STEM Academy’s first-grade students working on engineering plans and designing structures to catch a turkey.”

STEM is a form of thinking. Students will learn how to apply STEM thinking to several educational HI and career fields through the STEM pathway. The STEM Bridge strives to develop positive attitudes toward STEM. It also hopes to empower learning through both voice and choice. Together, UHV and VISD anticipate expanding local opportunities to expose students to a future pathway of choices.